nightslantern * * *Peru: charges against former President Alberto Fujimori for the crime of genocide have stemmed from his government's mass sterilizations of the poor, often Indigenous peoples. Investigations and charges were initiated, then suppressed by previous governments. Then reinstated, then suppressed most recently in January 2014 on grounds of 'inadequate evidence' - despite reiterated evidence of the crimes. The case was reopened on appeal in May 2015. The government has admitted that the crimes occurred, has apologized, and established a "national register of victims" to offer legal, medical and psychological assistance to victims estimated at over 300 thousand women and 20 thousand men, victims of sterilization without consent. Announcing the "national register of victims" President Ollanta Humala said “Never again in Peru can we implement a policy of fighting poverty by violating the reproductive rights of poor families” (teleSur)... Part of the difficulty in pursuing justice for the forcibly sterilized is that funding for the program came from both the United Nations and the U.S. government. Convictions of Peruvian officials could implicate both. The issue may affect upcoming 2016 Presidential elections where Keiko Fujimori, the daughter of former President Fujimori is once again a serious contender. Fujimori Sr. is serving 25 years in prison for war crimes with additional time for white collar crimes. He has not been charged with the genocidal massacres of the rural poor during his army's reclamation of rural areas and takeover of the rural economy and mining rights from the guerrilla movement, Sendero Luminosa. The political imbalance caused by 1. Fujimori's war against the poor, both guerrillas and the poor of child-bearing age, the State's service to foreign resource interests, and the absence of trials for violations of the Genocide Convention, continue an ongoing genocide warning for the Peruvian poor (mestizo and Indigenous peoples). Background: 2009, 2014, 2014, 2015. Partial sources online: "Peru Creates Official Record of Forced Sterilization Victims," Nov. 7, 2015, Prensa Latina / teleSUR; Peru Reopens Case of Mass Sterilization of Indigenous Women, Reuters/Fusion teleSur, May 14, 2015, teleSUR; Peru Creates Official Record of Forced Sterilization Victims Peru to investigate government’s forced sterilizations program, Oct. 27, 2015, Peru Reports; "Peru: Indigenous Women Victims of Sterilizations March for Justice," Nov. 26, 2015, teleSUR; "Survey: no difference among Peru’s presidential candidates," Nov. 24, 2015, Peru Reports; "Peru: Forced sterilizations declared national interest," Hillary Ojeda, Nov.6, 2015, Living in Peru; "Lawyers appeal after Peru’s Fujimori cleared of forced sterilization," Anastasia Moloney, Jan. 30, 2014, Thomson Reuters Foundation.
2020 suppressed news
concerned with the prevention of genocide
by j. b. gerald
December 23, 2015
Burundi: Since independence in 1962 Burundi has been subjected to interior violence, with its popular elected nationalist leader murdered almost immediately followed by other assassinations, ethnic warfare, tribal wars officially claimed in UN reports to be genocide and a kind of slow burning chaos which has kept the country in poverty, and with limited resources to exploit, somewhat helpless. As in Rwanda the majority of peoples are Hutu (85%) with less than 15% Tutsi. As in Rwanda the Tutsi minority was used by colonial powers to control the majority. It's not likely that contemporary Tutsi power in the country derives from democratic means. Democratically elected Hutu leaders have proven vulnerable to assassination. Burundi remains the 2nd poorest country on earth; the masses live in poverty. Revolutionary expression of the people's will has been staved off by surviving mechanisms of colonialism: impoverishment; isolation of the people from each other; division of the country into many sub-states; poor communications and few roads or means of transport; a rural economy reliant on the internationally set price for tea and coffee; traditional non-native religious controls (65% Catholic, 24% Protestant); a powerful Tutsi controlled military in neighbouring Rwanda; a traditionally Tutsi controlled military in Burundi; an increasing focus on ethnic divisions which keep the people of these two tribal groups from acting together. Since ethnic strife is a tool of the powerful to divide the peoples, its evidence may be a barometer of the national group's intent to move foward with mass action. The ongoing worry is that genocidal acts will be initiated to provoke anti-genocide intervention. Since the African Union has stated the issue of genocide prevention as a reason for a proposed intervention in Burundi, a genocide warning for Hutu and Tutsi peoples of Burundi. Still there is something unclear, puzzling, unrevealed in this situation. Partial sources online: "AU says to send troops to Burundi as genocide fears rise," AFP, Dec. 20, 2015, New Zimbabwe; "Burundi rejects African peacekeeping force," Dec. 19, 2015, Al Jazeera; "Burundi," current, Wikipedia. "Burundi Refugees Asked to Fight Their Own People," Anita Powell, Dec. 23, 2015, VOA.
November 29, 2015
New York City: Lori Berenson has returned to New York City with her son, after 15 years in Peruvian prison and 5 years of probation as required by Peruvian courts. Peruvian media note at her departure, her apology to the Peruvian people for the suffering she caused. The press does not note that the suffering caused by the entire guerrilla group, Movimiento Revolucionario Túpac Amaru, which Ms Berenson supported was infinitesimal compared to the works of the Fujimori government which she attempted to counter. Maintaining her humanity she tried harder than many surviving Peruvians to save Peru's poor and Indigenous from the terminal rip-off by corporate interests in uniform. Captured she was scapegoated for being an outsider by an establishment at the service of foreign interests. In one sense she was a guerrilla. In another she was simply a young woman who struggled by the means available, against the genocide of another people. Partial sources online: "Estadounidense Lori Berenson, condenada por terrorismo en Perú, pide perdón," EFE, Nov. 29, 2015, el nuevo Herald; "Lori Berenson pide perdón a peruanos antes de dejar el país," 29 Nov., 2015, Terra.
Chile: For the 1974 disappearance of 1 left wing militant (Washington Cid Urrutia) 64 DINA (secret police) officers were sentenced to prison terms of 4 to 13 years. 4 of these were generals already serving terms of 200 years and more. There have been 1,149 convictions for war crimes occurring during the Pinochet dictatorship. Background: Memoria Viva [access:< http://www.memoriaviva.com/ >]. Partial sources online: "Chile sentences 64 former-Pinochet era officers," Nov.4, 2015, Buenas Aires Herald.com; "Condenan a 64 ex agentes de la DINA de Pinochet por el primer caso del Plan Cóndor," 3 de noviembre, LaRed21.
Myanmar: currently under a genocide warning, the Christian Kachin peoples of northern Myanmar are under attack by the Myanmar army. Consistently out of favour with the Buddhist governments of Myanmar the Kachin ethnic group has maintained its identity, religion and existence through armed resistance. Its army (KIA) has an estimated 10,000 people. Despite the overwhelming victory of Aung San Suu Kyi's NLD party in the elections of November 8th, the new military attacks shows no deviation from policy of the military dictatorship. The situation of the Rohingya, largely stripped of their identity cards and rights, remains desperate as more prepare to flee their homes. An NLD spokesman has stated their situation is not a priority. See previous. Partial sources online: "Aung San Suu Kyi aide: Rohingya are not our priority," Jennifer Rigby, Nov. 19, 2015, telegraph.co.uk; "Burma (Myanmar) Military Offensive Displaces Kachin Christians," Nov. 22, 2015, Morning Star News.
Brazil: the Belo Monte dam has been granted its operating license, and will begin to activate its reservoirs. Indigenous, environmental and legal groups claim the conditions for operating the dam haven't been met, and measures required by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights are being ignored. The effect of the dam on the Indigenous peoples of the region should be monitored within the perspective of the Convention on Genocide. Ongoing genocide warning. Previous: 1 2 3 4 5 6. Partial sources online: "Brazil authorizes operation of the Belo Monte Dam, disregarding the rights of affected communities," Press Release / Interamerican Association for Environmental Defense, Nov. 24, 2015, AIDA apprec. IC; "Belo Monte começa a encher reservatórios no Xingu," Nádia Pontes, Deutsche Welle, Nov. 26, 2015, CartaCapital.
Canada: the War Resisters Support Campaign (website) has called for a "Let them Stay Week," from November 29 to December 5. U.S. war resisters who have honoured international law and trusted Canada with their future found some favour with the Canadian Parliament but were consistently betrayed by the Harper government and forced back to the States where they could be tried for desertion. For some their cases remain in progress. The War Resisters Support Campaign urges letters to The Honourable John McCallum, Minister of Immigration under the newly elected Liberal government, asking the government to allow them to stay. Background.September 13, 2015
November 4, 2015
Myanmar (Burma): a report by Al Jazeera (Al Jazeera Investigates - Genocide Agenda) shows the Yale University Law School's Lowenstein Clinic in conjunction with Fortify Rights finding "strong evidence" of genocide currently being committed against the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. It's clear that preventive measures have failed, chiefly through the international community's lack of awareness and concern. Nightslantern.ca called its initial genocide warnings for the Rohinghya in Myanmar, August 27, 2012 and October 29th, 2012 and November 2, 2012. It's possible that the historical persecution of Rohingya was advanced due to flooding in the south of Myanmar, threatening the nation 's food supply, possibly limiting the numbers of people the nation would be able to sustain. One is reminded of the effects of the U.S. B-52 bombing raids on Cambodia which intentionally destroyed Cambodia's food resources, as the major contributory fact in the Cambodian genocide which followed - a kind of triage of Cambodia's people allowing a majority to escape famine. There is some parallel to a similar mechanism in the Ukraine's Holodomor of 1932-33. This is a largely undiscussed aspect of the cause of genocides where genocide may be the result for minority groups when a country's food supplies are endangered/destroyed. The NATO press is reluctant to consider any causative link between the destruction of food resources and intentional destruction of a national group or its parts: this concept questions the legality of capitalism. In 2013 Nightslantern.ca posted several further genocide warnings since an organized, state-directed, killing was in motion without adequate international or domestic resistance. See 1 and 2. In May 2013 Human Rights Watch issued a report on crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing of Rohingya; Physicians for Human Rights issued a similar report in August 2013; the US Holocaust Memorial Museum noted the deteriorating situation and all these are currently mentioned on the Holocaust Museum's web pages along with its own recent "eyewitness report", They Want Us All to Go Away: Early Warning Signs of Genocide in Burma, of May 1, 2015. It is no longer early. The online report doesn't carry a date, doesn't credit its sources, and comes as a surprise, three years late amidst continuing U.S. support for the Thein Sein military government which is presiding over the crime. A U.S. refusal to note anything wrong with the start of the genocide in 2012 has powerful allies. Finding herself unable to say anything to counter the program of criminal acts by her Buddhist supporters, the nobelist politician and presidential hopeful Aung San Suu Kyi received a Congressional gold medal in the U.S., September 2012, and an Amnesty International backed speaking tour. In this way the normal confrontation of a genocide is muted, back-burnered, and placed instead at the service of corporate and military tactical interests. A new election due November 8th has been prepared by the disenfranchisement of possibly a 100,000 Rohingya voters. This affects Muslims primarily but also other minority groups such as the ethnic Kachins oppressed by current rule. In August 2015 Myanmar was devastated by flooding with 1.7 million people affected and 400,000 requiring UN food assistance. 89% of the rice crop was destroyed, half a million hectares of rice paddies were flooded. 250,000 livestock died. The military government facilitated international aid efforts. A genocide warning for Rohingya Muslims, extending as well to other minority groups in Myanmar, continues. In an election among parties where the genocide of Rohingya is not mentioned at all, the sanity or moral base of all the leaders is in question. In Myanmar the spirit of reason and freedom is kept alive by punk singers (some former prisoners) speaking out in performance to call the militarily primed Buddhist nationalist monks - "Buddhist Nazi skinheads." For those who have any doubt that genocide is underway in Myanmar I recommend "Countdown to Annihilation: Genocide in Myanmar." Penny Green, Thomas MacManus, Alicia de la Cour Venning, International State Crime Initiative. Partial sources online: Al Jazeera Investigates: Genocide Agenda Oct. 26, 2015, Al Jazeera/ YouTube [access: < https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrQRYrpp2cI&feature=youtu.be >] "Is Genocide Underway in Myanmar?" Shawn W. Crispin, Oct. 30, 2015, The Diplomat; "Exclusive: 'Strong evidence' of genocide in Myanmar: Al Jazeera investigation reveals government triggered deadly communal violence for political gain," Al Jazeera Investigative Unit, Oct. 28, 2015, Al; Jazeera; "Aung San Suu Kyi rally draws thousands in Myanmar: Nobel Laureate promises change ahead of landmark election marred by claims minorities have been left out of the vote," Nov. 1, 2015, Al Jazeera; "UN food relief now reaching more than 400,000 flood victims in Myanmar," Aug. 26, 2015, United Nations News Centre; "Myanmar needs urgent help with livestock and rice losses after floods - U.N.," Thomson Reuters Foundation, Oct. 20, 2015. Thomson Reuters Foundation; "Myanmar's punk rockers challenge anti-Muslim rhetoric Ahead of crucial election, musicians rail against government-sanctioned repression of persecuted Rohingya minority," Hanna Hindstrom, Nov. 3, 2015, Al Jazeera.
This entry was also published as an article: "Myanmar: The Genocide against the Rohingya," by J.B.Gerald, Nov. 4, 2015, at Global Research[access:< http://www.globalresearch.ca/myanmar-the-genocide-against-the-rohingya/5486744 >]
October 17, 2015
Yemen: since March when the fighting escalated the risk of famine has tripled, with over half a million children in the process of starving. Another 1.5 million are considered "moderately malnourished." The U.N. Children's Fund (UNICEF) will know by the end of October whether the catastrophe is officially a "famine." UNICEF considers 5,400 killed in the Saudi led military attacks on the Houthi, and of these, 504 children in the last four months. Almasirah TV notes 6979 killed in 200 days, and of these, 1986 children; over 14000 wounded; the infrastructure of this impoverished country is being destroyed (as in the illegal demolition of Iraq's civilian infrastructure, and Yugoslavia's): "14 airports, 10 ports, 357 bridges and roads, 109 station and electricity networks, 104 communications networks, 105 water supply networks," and "1248 schools and educational centers, 34 universities, 214 hospitals, 564 mosques, 161 factories, 52 tourist facilities, 43 archaeological sites, 29 stadiums, 224 markets, 472 food stores, 212 fuel stations, 103 chicken farms." A genocide warning for the people of Yemen as a national group. Partial sources online: "Half a million Yemen children face severe malnutrition: U.N.," Stephanie Nebehay Reuters, Oct. 16, 2015, Yahoo! News; "'Anfujravek' statistical crimes Saudi American aggression," The Civil Coalition for Monitoring the Crimes of Saudi American Agression in Yemen. Oct. 15, 2015, Almasirah TV [access:< https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qk0ADnhKVjI >] apprec. nowar/paix list.
New York City: NYC Anarchist Black Cross has published online, US. Political Prisoner and Prisoner of War Listing, Edition 10.6 of September 2015, available at https://nycabc.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/nycabc_polprisonerlisting_10-6sept2015.pdf. In the 28 pages of listings almost all prisoners are native born Americans. Notably missing are Arab-Americans and Muslim suspects imprisoned as part of the "war on terrorism." In addition to some of the political prisoners listed on the nightslantern political prisoners updates page the NYC Anarchist Black Cross list carries prisoners of war among many current political prisoners we're not yet aware of.
Carswell Federal Medical Center, Texas: use of xenophobia and Islamophobia by politicians for political gain leads to exceptional cruelties against individuals. An update on Aafia Siddiqui: she has spent about 12 years in solitary confinement. Her separation from normal life is so severe that her lawyer requested an independent medical exam simply to prove she is alive. Al Jazeera wrote the prison and asked if she were still alive. No one other than prison and justice department personnel positively identify her presence in Carswell. Sentenced to 86 years by a New York judge Ms Siddiqui's prison years so far are marked by a lack of information, broken by a report in 2013 that she was beaten unconscious in her cell. In July 2014 she withdrew her possibly final appeal against her 86 year sentence. Two of her children are living with her sister in Pakistan, a third is believed killed at her abduction/arrest. An international petition requesting her return to Pakistan was signed by over a hundred thousand people. Al Jazeera reports that during two visits this year by consuls from the Embassy of Pakistan Ms Siddiqui was presented as a woman in a burqa, with her back to them and entirely silent. Her family in Pakistan is reported to have applied for American citizenship for her children so the children might have a better life. Yet this might be considered adjunct to forcibly transferring children of the group to another group (Convention of Genocide Article II, e) since their mother is held incommunicado without adequate human rights. Among the allegations of Dr.Siddiqui's rape and torture at Bagram U.S. Air Force base, the freed Guantanamo prisoner Binyam Mohamed has identified her as "Prisoner 650," a woman detainee at Bagram thought to have gone mad as a result of longterm torture. The U.S. has not confirmed Dr. Siddiqui is the tortured prisoner. Judicial treatment of Dr. Siddiqui, the venue of her conviction which had no legal authority to try her (her New York trial would have properly occurred in Afghanistan or Pakistan), the extremes of physical abuse she allegedly received, the extreme pressures on her sanity, the denial of her humanity, are frighteningly unjust. Denying any person his/her humanity denies the humanity of the entire group. Partial sources online: "Lawyer Wants Proof Aafia Siddiqui, Inmate ISIS Wants Free, Is Alive," Steven Nelson, April 20, 2015, U.S. News & World Report; "Dr. Aafia Siddiqui 'assaulted' in prison," June 8, 2013, Five Pillars; "The silence of Aafia Siddiqui," Benazir Shah, July 16, 2015, al Jazeera; "PART 2: Lawyer for Pakistani Scientist & Terror Suspect Aafia Siddiqui Asks If She is Alive," Amy Goodman, April 20, 2015, Democracy Now!; "No faith in American justice: Aafia Siddiqui withdraws her appeal of 86-year prison term," Oct. 10, 2014, RT; "The children of terrorists," Marium Irshad, Oct. 15, 2015, Daily Times (Pakistan).
Algeria: Djamel Ameziane update: a refugee from Algeria, Ameziane was a former resident in Canada and applicant for refugee status. Refused, he went to Afghanistan and in October 2001 to avoid the American invasion crossed into Pakistan where he was sold to American forces for bounty and incarcerated in Guantanamo for eleven years. He was tortured. Despite the efforts of human rights groups in Montreal and in violation of international law ("IACHR Condemns Forced Transfer of Djamel Ameziane from Guantanamo to Algeria," Press Release December 19, 2013, Organization of American States) he was returned to the risk of torture in Algeria on December 5, 2013, where he's under the concern of the International Committee of the Red Cross. There is possibly no evidence linking him to terrorism. His assets (valued at $8,838 U.S.) confiscated at arrest remain the property of the U.S. government. (Wikipedia)
Lima Peru, Lori Berenson update: on parole Ms. Berenson with the court's permission was able to visit New York City in December/ January 2012. Her parole which requires she stay in Peru will be over November 29th, 2015.
October 11, 2015
Ottawa, Mohamed Harkat update: in a case heard partly in secret court and relying on secret informants and classified information conceivably derived through torture, Canada's Supreme Court decided May 14, 2014, that Harkat's Security Certificate was justified. The Harper government has waited to begin deportation proceedings until the Federal elections campaign. Not charged with a crime, not allowed to know the full evidence against him or what his alleged crime(s) were, Harkat was imprisoned for over 3 years in solitary confinement then released by court order to a restrictive form of house arrest. The suffering caused his wife and their family is extensive. The sadness caused his supporters continues. If Harkat is deported to Algeria he risks prison and torture. His wife, family, lawyers, supporters have fought for his release and freedom by every legal means available, in affirmation of Canadian law mocked so far by the Harper government's insistence on vilifying and deporting a Muslim refugee. Here for 20 years, the possibility of Harkat being a "sleeper agent" (he's alleged to have been a hotelier for an establishment partially funded by al-Quaida) as proposed by the government, doesn't balance the betrayal of Canadian human rights law. Night's Lantern hopes the authorities will not deepen this injustice against the spirit of Canadian law by deporting Mohamed Harkat; he should stay in Canada with his family.
October 5, 2015
Ottawa: The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives offers The Harper Record: 2008-2015, 432 pages, online and without charge, at https://www.policyalternatives.ca/publications/reports/harper-record-2008-2015. The CCPA periodically reports on Canadian governments in power. With contributions from 37 writers and researchers the work is edited by Teresa Healy and Stewart True: a rare ethical assessment of politics in Canada today. Meanwhile CBC News reports that another young person among the authority-defined "Toronto 18", Saad Gaya, has been informed his citizenship will be stripped. Gaya was born in Montreal to Canadian parents who came to Canada from Pakistan. Under a change in Pakistan's laws his parents had their Pakistani citizenship restored last year so the government mistakenly holds that their son at age 27, has dual citizenship. Entrapped and arrested at 18 as a Canadian and pleading guilty to terrorism charges he was initially sentenced to 12 years in prison, which the Crown increased to 18 years. He has been eligible for temporary releases, unescorted, since September 2012. His lawyer is currently arguing in court that the government's action presents a cruel and unusual punishment already applied by the criminal justice system. Gaya is another victim of government actions that coincide with the Federal elections October 19th. See previous. Partial sources online: "Canadian-born Saad Gaya, convicted terrorist, targeted for revocation of citizenship," Alison Crawford, Susana Mas, Oct. 1, 2015, CBC News: "Conservatives move to revoke citizenship from home-grown Canadian: Walkom," Thomas Walkom, Oct. 3, 2015, OurWindsor.ca; "As convicted terrorists face possible release, Canada faced with growing problem: how do you rehabilitate them?" Stewart Bell, Nov. 30, 2012, National Post; "Young offenders in the 2006 Ontario terrorism plot: Saad Gaya," current, Wikipedia.
Montreal: on October 6th in the area of Galeries D'Anjou 2 teenagers on bikes rode up behind a Muslim woman on her way to pick up her daughter at school. They tried to rip off the pregnant woman's niqab, knocked her over, and rode away. The police say they aren't yet sure it was a hate crime. Tabled by Liberal Premier Jean Charest March 24, 2010, Quebec's Bill 94 would have made it a crime for a woman to wear a niqab in any dealings with the government. Intended as a token law in the language of affirming human rights, the law has the unfortunate effect of lowering respect for wearers of the niqab, and women in general by depriving them of freedom of choice. France under Sarkozy banned the niqab and face coverings July 13, 2010, followed by a more openly fascist program of ethnic cleansing France of Roma which continues and continues to strip France of moral authority. Québec Solidaire's Françoise David tabled a motion October 1rst which Quebec's National Assembly passed unanimously condemning Islamaphobia. But on October 3rd, when public sector unions of teachers and health care workers from throughout the Province marched through Montreal 250,000 strong to refuse austerity, and wage freezes, there wasn't a burka or niqab in sight. Partial sources online: "Pregnant Muslim woman attacked by Montreal teens, police say," Oct.2, 2015, CBC News; "Françoise David appeals for calm in debate over niqab," Oct. 1, 2015, CBC News; "Niqab bans in Canada," rabblepedia, current, The Huffington Post; "Québec solidaire motion condemning 'islamophobia' passes unanimously in National Assembly," Caroline Plante, Oct. 1, 2015, Montreal Gazette. .
Afghanistan: in the early hours of October 3rd the Medecins sans Frontieres / Doctors without Borders hospital in Kunduz was hit by aerial attacks every fifteen minutes for over an hour. The bombing consistently and accurately pinpointed the medical operations center of the hospital, leaving portions of the periphery intact. This undercuts early U.S. explanations that the attacks were "collateral damage" or a result of Taliban elements said to be using the hospital for cover (this is denied by MSF), and suggests the MSF presumption that the NATO/US action constitutes an intentional war crime. The only hospital in remote northern Afghanistan caring for severe trauma injuries, was bombed by U.S. Air Force jets despite clear delineation of the Hospital's coordinates and ongoing calls from the hospital to NATO headquarters and Washington during the attack. Medecins sans Frontieres / Doctors without Borders received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1999. Current reports show 12 staff killed, 10 patients. At least 37 were wounded. Ongoing genocide warning (since 2002) for the people of Afghanistan as a national group. Partial sources online: "Bombing of MSF hospital in Kunduz: What we know so far," Jethro Mullen, Oct.5, 2015, CNN; "Afghan hospital bombing: MSF labels US airstrike a war crime as it withdraws staff," Sune Engel Rasmussen and Jessica Elgot, Oct. 4, 2015, theguardian; "Air strike kills MSF medical staff in Afghanistan," Oct. 3, 2015, Al Jazeera.
October 1, 2015
Ottawa Canada: weeks before the national election the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration has revoked the Canadian citizenship of Zakaria Amara, previously named by authorities as a leader of the group defined by authorities and press as the "Toronto 18". Many of these were charged with various aspects of "terrorism." The professionals among the group were highly paid police agent-provocateur(s) without whose guidance no crime would have been possible. The others appear to have been children and amateurs. Having cooperated with authorities by pleading guilty to charges against him, Amara is serving a life sentence. The "Toronto 18" provided the Harper government with needed justification for legislation supporting the "War on Terror." The defendants' primary motivation seems to have been an attempt to keep Canadian soldiers out of Afghanistan. Two other defendants among the "Toronto 18" also received notice of citizenship revocation, Asad Ansari and Saad Khalid. With the passage of Bill C-24, citizenship-stripping for votes becomes a tool of extra-judicial punishment for use against those who are or could be, dual citizens. Partial sources online: "Le Canada retire sa citoyenneté à un Canadien ," Agence QMI, 26 septembre, 2015, Journal de Montréal; "Toronto 18 terror plotter's citizenship revoked by federal government," The Canadian Press, Sept.; 27, 2015, Toronto Sun; "Toronto 18's Zakaria Amara among 1st to lose citizenship under Bill C-24," The Canadian Press, Sept. 26, 2015, CBC News; "Bill C-24: Harper Says Tories May Consider Stripping Other Criminals Of Citizenship," Althia Raj, Sept. 30, 2015, Huffington Post.
Nunavut Canada: for twenty years suicide rates have remained at ten times the national average. About half Nunavut's population lives in social housing. 2,313 households are on the waiting list to get in. The cost of building one housing unit is given as $400,000. An ongoing genocide warning. Partial sources online: "Nunavut’s youth suicide epidemic — ‘Who is next? How do we stop this?’" Sandro Contenta, April 04, 2015,Toronto Star; "Nunavut's social housing faces billion-dollar shortfall," John Van Dusen, Aug. 15, 2015, CBC News; "Nunavut housing crisis: 'Dire straits' in Igloolik,"John Van Dusen, Sept.30, 2015, CBC News.
Washington D.C.: The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has received a twenty million dollar gift from the Samerian Foundation (a family foundation of the Skjodt family) to further the Museum's concept of genocide prevention throughout the world. The Museum's annual budget of about 78.7 million dollars receives 47.3 million from the Federal government (Wikipedia). Now the Museum's genocide prevention section is renamed the Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide, responsible to the Museum's Committee on Conscience. A difficulty is that since the Holocaust Memorial Museum's inception under the direction of Elie Wiesel, and currently with its Committee on Conscience under the leadership of Michael Chertoff (former chief of Homeland Security), the Memorial Museum's efforts under any name have coincided with U.S. State Department policies through a time when State Department, Department of Defense and U.S.-linked corporate policies have been complicit in if not a cause for genocides throughout the world. Welcomed by major media the Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide's Early Warning Project, affiliated with the Dickey Center for International Understanding at Dartmouth College, presents no exception as it offers a new tool for prevention of genocide: a global map noting the statistical risk of genocide in each country. So exactly what concept of genocide is the Center offering ? According to its genocide prevention map, Israel shows a 0.1% statistical risk of genocide despite the current near annihilation of the people of Gaza. Of national groups currently partially destroyed by NATO country militaries and policies, Libya shows a 1.5% statistical risk, Syria a statistical risk of 1.2%. Syria is a country of the Center's particular concern. Nightslantern considers there to be a genocide in progress in Syria, as a direct result of U.S. and NATO efforts to force a regime change. It is to the U.S. national interest to avoid interpreting the destruction of Syria within a context of the Genocide Convention. Despite the ongoing genocide of Indigenous tribes in Brazil's Amazon, the map notes Brazil's risk of genocide as 0.3%. Among other examples, in Canada the genocide risk (see above) is noted as 0.1%. In the States, 0.1%. The same as Israel's. These are highly dangerous underestimations. At what point does a statistical risk become a calculated risk? Military minds apparently factor-in the statistical risk of "collateral damage," ie. deaths of civilians, in use of missiles and drones. When the risk of civilian casualties is assumed the casualties can't be considered unintended. Do statistical risks extend to calculated risks of genocide when the U.S. chooses to replace rulers such as Ghaddafi or Assad ? The Early Warning Project's statistical risk map shows the greatest current risks are in Myanmar, Nigeria, Sudan, Egypt and Central African Republic. Bringing these areas to the public's attention is praiseworthy. Lacking the balance of including areas where the United States bears clear responsibility, risks impunity. Partial sources online: "Map: The risk of genocide around the world," Ishaan Tharoor, Sept. 21, 2015, The Washington Post; "Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide," current, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum; "Early Warning Project," current, [access:< http://www.earlywarningproject.com/ >].Historical note: Night's Lantern's list of peoples affected by genocide warnings is available at http://nightslantern.ca/02.htm, and includes Afghanistan, Brazil, Canada, Central African Republic, Chile, China, Colombia, Cote d'Ivoire, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, France, Guatemala, Haiti, Hungary, India, Iran, Iraq, Israel/Palestine, Italy, Jammu and Kashmir, Kosovo, Libya, Mexico, Myanmar, Peru, Rwanda, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Turkey, Ukraine, U.S., Yugoslavia, Zimbabwe.
September 20, 2015
Guatemala: (previous) the Ríos Montt trial for genocide is to proceed in January at Guatemala's Tribunal of High Risk, behind closed doors and without the press in attendance. Through the court's ruling of August 25th he can't be imprisoned but may be committed to a psychiatric institution. Medical and psychiatric personnel testified that Ríos Montt is currently not able to stand trial. Despite his conviction on charges of genocide legal technicalities and evasions within a system of rule protecting the genocide of Indian people for 500 years, have spared the former dictator application of justice. The difficulties in convicting a top level politician of genocide also protect those Ríos Montt was responsible to. Considered a CIA colony since the CIA's overthrow of Arbenz in 1954, one senses the thoroughness of American controls in the marriage of Ríos Montt's daughter Zury, to former U.S. Congressman Gerald C. Weller in 2004. At her marriage Ríos Montt helped formalize the marriage vows - the wedding took place at his house; The Washington Post noted her plans to live in the U.S. but return to Guatemala to perform her duties there as a Congresswoman. Weller is reported to have been hired for lobbying efforts by Jeffrey Farrow as executive director of the U.S. Government Commission for the Preservation of America's Heritage Abroad. Oriented against genocide, the Commission takes care of cemeteries devoted to Holocaust victims and genocide memorials in Europe. U.S. complicity in Ríos Montt's genocide against the Mayan Ixil is part of a constant norm that makes the crime part of the daily bread of the wealthy classes serving foreign interests. Currently the Rockefeller Foundation and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine are charged in court by 800 plaintiffs for their role in experiments conducted against unknowing Guatemalans who were intentionally infected with syphilis and gonorrhea during the 1940's. A suit in 2012 against the U.S. government in Federal Court failed when the judge granted the U.S. government immunity in extra-territorial actions. The current suit is lodged in Maryland State Court, against specific organizations while both the Rockefeller Foundation and Johns Hopkins deny any connection to the crime. Meanwhile Guatemala is mid elections with a runoff, October 25, between Sandra Torres, a business woman who used her position as first lady of once President Alvaro Colom to further the rights and chances of the poor, and Jimmy Morales a comedian with right wing military backing. The former President Otto Perez Molina was deposed then arrested for corruption as was his vice president. Molina has not yet been charged with genocide despite active participation in the slaughter of Mayan Ixil under Rios Montt's rule. A recently elected municipal councilor in the northern department of Peten at the September 6th voting, Roberto Lima Choc, was murdered September 17 near the courthouse by two men who drove by on a motorcyle. He was an activist leader in the struggle against REPSA, the palm oil grower whose insecticides kill thousands of fish in the La Pasion river and damage the people's health. The day before his killing the court ordered the grower to cease operations for six months. Three other activists were kidnapped and are missing - Lorenzo Perez, Manuel Herrera, Hermelindo Asij. Earlier this year Amnesty International linked the deaths of anti-mining Mayan Ixil activists to Canadian mining interests. So there is a semi-permanent genocide warning for the Guatemalan Maya under current political systems, and until the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide becomes primary law, preceding the importance of domestic and foreign policies, and is enforced. Partial sources online: "Genocide Trial for Guatemalan President in 2016; Behind Closed Doors, Rick Kearns, Sept. 15, 2015, Indian country; 9/15/15; "Jerry Weller," current, Wikipedia; "US Anti-Genocide Commission Linked To Central American Genocide, " Kathryn Watson, Sept. 14, 2015, The Daily Caller; "Ron Johnson Letter" (to Ms Leslie Weiss, Aug.10, 2015, United States Senate) Daily Caller News Foundation; "Guatemalans deliberately infected with STDs sue Johns Hopkins University for $1bn," April 2, 2015, theguardian; "Blog: African Palm Oil in Guatemala – A Fishy Situation," Nicholas Moffa, June 30, 2015, Network; "Guatemala, ucciso ambientalista: aveva denunciato la Repsa" ("Guatemala, killed environmentalist had denounced the Repsa,") Geraldine Colotti, Sept. 19, 2015, Il Manifesto; "Guatemala judge orders detention of President Perez in graft scandal," Alexandra Alper & Enrique Pretel (Reuters), Sept. 3, 2015, Toronto Sun.
Ukraine: an international gathering of Hasidim in Uman brings tens of thousands of Hasidic Jews to the grave of 19th Century Rabbi Nachman of Breslov every Rosh Hashanah. This year a local militia of Ukrainian nationalists attacked the the tent city of pilgrims on Sabbath destroying half a million dollars worth of property. The police watched. The incident is understood as an attempt by the far right to encourage votes in the upcoming elections. An estimated 6900 Jews left the Ukraine for Israel last year. The attack on the camp occurs during a cease fire in a conflict which has killed an estimated 8000 people with 18000 wounded, since April 2014. In other news of the Ukraine, "The Snipers’ Massacre on Maidan Square in Ukraine" (updated Sept. 2015), by Ivan Katchanovski, is available at https://www.academia.edu/8776021/The_Snipers_Massacre_on_the_Maidan_in_Ukraine. The paper documents the event as a false flag operation. Due to NATO country support for neo-Nazi elements, the history of Jews in the Ukraine since 1790, and apparent willingness to use covert programs for tactical gains, a genocide warning for Ukraine's Jewish community continues. Emigration to countries other than Israel may be more difficult as a result of the Syrian refugee crisis overloads. Partial sources online: "Ukrainian Nationalists Trash Jewish Tent City in Central City of Uman," Jason Ditz, Sept. 8, 2015,antiwar.com; "Ukraine fighting at lowest level since conflict broke out," Sept. 8, 2015, BBC News; "Hasidic Jewish camp attacked in Ukraine ahead of pilgrimage," Sept. 10, 2015, RT.com; "N-Ne-Neo Nazis in Uman?" Hana Levi Julian," Sept. 9, 2015, The Jewish Press.<June 18, 2015 Peru Canada U.S. Louisiana GuatemalaSeptember 8, 2015
Wayne County Pennsylvania: while U.S. Penitentiary Canaan is under lockdown due to the stabbing of three food workers by an inmate in the mess hall, SF BayView notes a medical emergency for Imam Jamil Abdullah al-Amin: his jaw is swollen to twice its normal size and he's in pain. Due to the injustices in his treatment by the courts, the FBI's continuing fear of him, a denial of appropriate medical care at Florence Colorado, his power as a community and religious leader, there's a reasonable concern that he will remain untreated and not survive. The prison's phone number is 570-488-8000. Recent background: Al-Amin was held in impenetrable isolation at Florence supermax in Colorado since 2007. He finally contracted a rare form of blood cancer as identified by biopsy at Butner Prison Hospital in North Carolina (previous) where he was transferred mid-July, before his current placement at Canaan. Al-Amin has previously suffered from untreated dental abscesses which are said to have drained into his lungs, difficulty breathing, swollen feet, extreme fatigue. Partial sources online: "Staff Members Attacked by Inmate at Federal Prison in Wayne County," Bill Michlowski, Aug. 18, 2015, 16The News Station; "Stop the execution of Imam Jamil, the former H. Rap Brown by medical neglect in federal prison," Sept. 6, 2015, SF BayView; "Calls mounting in US for release of African-American Imam," Aug. 15, 2014, Press TV.
September 4, 2015
Toronto: at its annual assembly August 6 to 9, the American Psychological Association (see previous, "On the 'ethics' of complicity in torture") voted overwhelming to obey international law even when the U.S. government does not. The APA barred its members from cooperating with military or intelligence torture interrogations. As quoted by William Boardman in Dissident Voice, "psychologists shall not conduct, supervise, be in the presence of, or otherwise assist any national security interrogations for any military or intelligence entities, including private contractors working on their behalf." Interestingly, the APA did not exclude domestic law enforcement interrogation from the ban. No arrests for violating or complicity in violating laws against torture were attempted. Partial sources online: "US Torturers Lose Psychologists’ Corrupt Cooperation, William Boardman, Aug.16th, 2015, Dissident Voice"; "APA Votes to Bar Psychologists from Nat’l Security Interrogations After Torture Scandal," Aug. 7, 2015, Democracy Now!; "Doctors who colluded in US torture vote to crawl 'out of the dark side'," Aug. 7, 2015, theguardian.
California: rising from the Pelican Bay hunger strikes of 2011 and 2013 (background) the court case Ashker v Brown, initiated in 2012, has resulted in victory for those locked up in California's Security Housing Units ("solitary confinement"). Of the 3000 California prisoners currently in solitary, 2000 are there because of alleged political or gang affiliations and these are to be released from isolation. The settlement ends indefinite long term solitary and limits the prison system's ability to use solitary detention except in extreme cases. Although the practice is understood as torture the decision doesn't yet outlaw the use of solitary confinement entirely. The settlement is a milestone for American prisoners' rights and human rights in the face of endemic fascism. It is a credit to the hunger strikers refusing to be beaten to hopelessness, a credit to their support groups their people their families, a credit to their lawyers, a credit to SF Bay View, and a credit to the "Agreement to End Hostilities" [access:< http://prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/agreement-to-end-hostilities.pdf >] put forward by hunger strikers at risk in solitary who were the plaintiffs of the court action. Nightslantern noted this as "one of the strongest refusals of violence from a U.S. movement since the statement Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. made with his life." Partial sources online: "California prisoners win historic gains with settlement against solitary confinement," Mohamed Shehk, Sept.1, 2015, BayView; "California rises to prisoners’ challenge to end racial hostilities," Mary Ratcliff, Oct. 14, 2012, SF BayView; "After Mass Hunger Strikes & Lawsuits, Prisoners Force California to Scale Back Solitary Confinement," Amy Goodman et al, Sept. 2, 2015, Democracy Now!".
Ottawa: while the rate of acceptance from Roms seeking asylum in Canada from Hungary was 20% in 2013, the percentage has increased to 68% in the first half of 2015. The Conservative government maintains its designation of Hungary as a "safe country" while immigration authorities deal with evidence to the contrary. Nightslantern first noted Hungary's persecution of Roma in 2008, and the threat of the Jobbik party ( 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. ) and a genocide warning for Hungary's Roma in 2009. In 2014 a Harvard report, "Accelerating Patterns of Anti-Roma Violence in Hungary," gives adequate evidence of the State's deep fascism and endangerment of Roma and the increasing violence against them. A genocide warning continues. Partial sources online: "Canada now accepting more Roma asylum-seekers from Hungary as evidence of persecution accumulates," Aug. 28, 2015, Romea.ca; "Canada accepting more Roma asylum-seekers amid growing evidence of persecution in Hungary," Douglas Quan, Aug. 23, 2015, NJational Post; "Accelerating Patterns of Anti-Roma Violence in Hungary," Francois-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights, February 2014, Harvard School of Public Health [access:< http://fxb.harvard.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2014/02/FXB-Hungary-Report_Released-February-3-2014.pdf >]; "Hungary prime minister to migrants, ‘Please don’t come!’" The Washington Post and AP, Sept. 3, 2015, thestar.com.
France: the crime of persecuting Roma continues without safeguards of human rights - a man wanders into a Rom encampment and murders a family; the Communist mayor of La Courneuve asserts the city's eminent domain and backed by the far right threatens to close Samaritan, possibly the oldest Rom shantytown in France, without relocating its residents; the mayor of a northern town digs large ditches through an area Roms use to rest their caravans; Euractive.com notes that in 2014 France evicted 13,483 Roma, continuing at about 300 people per week; as exceptions to persecution of Roma peoples by EU countries, Finland offers to house all its Roma peoples and Spain has serious effective large social integration programs for the Roma. France's current objections to nonconformity focus on the refugees who continue to seek asylum there. 37,919 requests for asylum were registered in the first 7 months of 2015. Each receives a living allowance while his/her claim is considered; many are housed in reception centres. There are hundreds of thousands of refugees already in the various EU countries. The far-right exacerbates a growing denial of rights to the refugees by calling for an end to all immigration, legal and not. In response to the massive influx EU governments are moving in this direction. While a genocide warning continues for the Roma in France there is reason for anxiety among all French minority groups and aware peoples. Partial sources online: "ERRC: France Continues to Evict Roma on a Massive Scale," July 11, 2014, Romea.cz; "Paris slum the Samaritan has become a battleground for Roma," Amelia Jenne, Aug. 15, 2015, The Independent; "France: Roma immigrants evicted, travelling community kept from halting," Aug. 24, 2015, Romea.cz; "France evicts 300 Roma per week," Marion Candau trans. Samuel White, Feb.5, 2015, EurActiv.com; "Aid to refugees: How do European countries compare?" Sept. 3, 2015, EurActiv.com.
Sicily: in a city nearly overwhelmed by the influx of refugees arriving by boat, Palermo's mayor is quoted in Deutsche Welle - "Yes, the shelters are full, but we're nevertheless always ready to welcome these people. We have no tents for migrants. After their trauma they need permanent homes. This is a human right, at least for us in Palermo, in Sicily." He compares the actions of Europe in excluding refugees from legal means of entry, to the genocides of WW2. A genocide warning. The current European fear and disdain for migrants particularly on the growing far-right, forces thousands to seek dangerous / fatal ways to seek refuge. Media reports of riots in Calais, dead migrants in trucks or the holds of boats, are not searching out the cause of the influx of refugees escaping the hells created by NATO country military actions and policies. The Independent (UK) quotes the Mayor: "From Palermo comes a message - you should be ashamed...". Partial sources online: "Palermo mayor: refugee crisis 'a genocide'," Aug.7, 2015, Deutsche Welle; "Mediterranean migrant crisis: Mayor of Palermo says EU 'will be held responsible for genocide,' as latest survivors finally reach Sicily," Aug. 8, 2015, The Independent.
July 18, 2015
U.S.A.: "On the 'ethics' of complicity in torture."
July 6, 2015
Israel: appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council, the "Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict" released its report June 22nd. After pressure from Israel forced Canadian Prof. William Schabas to resign (see previous) surviving Commission members New York Justice Mary McGowan Davis who became the Commission Chair and Senegalese Dr. Doudou Diene, recommended support of the International Criminal Court concerning Occupied Palestinian Territory. Finding crimes by both sides the Commission notes Israel's impunity and lack of cooperation on grave issues of war crimes. The Government of Israel has issued its own report and defends its actions in Gaza as necessary "moral behaviour." With the UN report so clearly negative about Israel's crimes, those of a highly armed power, the report's text is difficult for the average reader to find (the Gaza report on the UN's Human Rights Council site is currently jammed at download). In event the report is intentionally suppressed, it's available here (A/HRC/29/CRP.4). On accepting the Commission's report the UN Human Rights Council has asked the Commission to further present a report on implementation of the Human Rights Council's recommendations in response to the report. These include cooperation with the ICC and "justice for victims and accountability for perpetrators." Because Israel's resistance to recognizing the humanity of Palestinians continues a genocide warning remains in effect. In assorted relevant news, the General Synod of the U.S. United Church of Christ voted June 30th to divest from companies profiting from the occupation and boycott goods from Israeli West Bank companies. The U.S. Presbyterian Church voted last year to boycott Israeli goods used in the occupied territories. On July 2nd the U.S. Episcopal Church rejected a call to boycott. The U.S. Mennonite Church has put the issue on hold until its gathering in 2017. UNRWA (the United Nations Relief and Works Agency) "Gaza Situation Report 98" reveals that during the first 10 days of Ramadan it distributed 2000 food packages to Gaza families of "abject poor" (ie. a dollar and fifty cents a day per person income). Israel has received a 111 million dollar contract from Argentina to upgrade 74 Argentinean Medium Tanks. Partial sources online: "UN Releases The Schabes Report: Israeli Self-Defense a ‘War Crime’," Hana Levi Julian, June 22, 2015, The Jewish Press; "UN Gaza Inquiry finds credible allegations of war crimes committed in 2014 by both Israel and Palestinian armed groups," Press release, June 22, 2015, OHCHR; "Israel defends Gaza conflict as 'moral war'," Mairav Zonszein, June 14, 2015, the guardian; "UN accuses Israel and Hamas of possible war crimes during 2014 Gaza conflict," Peter Beaumont, June 22, 2014, the guardian; "US says UN Security Council should disregard 'biased' Gaza report," June 24, 2015, i24 News; "United Church of Christ votes to divest from Israeli companies in occupied territories," Lauren Markoe, June 30, 2015, Religion News Service; "United States' Episcopal Church Rejects Boycott of Israeli Goods from Judea and Samaria," Anav Silverman, July 5, 2015, Breaking Israeli News; "Israel signs $111 million deal to upgrade Argentinian tanks," JTA, July 2, 2015, Start-up Israel; "Full text of UNHRC resolution on Gaza war probe," UN/ Times of Israel Staff, July 3, 2015, Times of Israel.
June 21, 2015 Ottawa (by L. Gerald) Dominican Republic U,S.
Ottawa: in June Bill C-24 came into effect in Canada. Characteristically justified by the Harper government as a response to the threat of terrorism, C-24 encumbers the attainment of citizenship, and at the same time renders it more easily revoked. Two tiers of citizenship have effectively been created, as naturalized and dual citizens now risk losing their correspondent rights and status based on assumptions and dispositions of government officials. As citizenship of those born outside Canada becomes precarious, and as the cost of applying for citizenship is also raised while refugees, students, and workers cannot now count their time here retroactive to their arrival, many of those affected are among the country’s most vulnerable. Text of bill: http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?doc=C-24&pub=bill . Partial sources online: “Under New Proposed Law, Citizenship is Harder to Get and Easier to Lose” February 26, 2015, Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers; “It’s official — second class citizenship goes into effect” June 3, 2015, BC Civil Liberties Association.
- L. Gerald
Dominican Republic: the deportations were scheduled to begin again June 18th. Under threat are all people in the Dominican Republic who do not have the proper papers, particularly Haitians, and Dominican's for several generations but of Haitian ancestry, if their birth certificates weren't correctly registered with authorities. Logically this targets all darker peoples without residency permits or citizenship papers. The moratorium on deporations initiated a year ago expired June 17th. Of an estimated half a million affected about 275,000 applied for papers (residency papers are a step on the path to naturalization), and of these only 10,000 could provide proof of their residency requirements. As noted in Night's Lantern's posting February 15, 2015, the registration process was undercut by reports of those without proper credentials being removed to the border with Haiti and put out of the country. Immigration director Dario Paulino announced June 18th the preparation of seven "welcome centres" on the border, staffed by 2000 police trainees and 150 inspectors. As national elections approach (2016) a Wall Street Journal source notes that Dominican politicians have so inflamed this issue the deportations will have to proceed. But they are criminal. An ethnic cleansing. With a previous act of genocide against its Haitian population, and the media's reluctance to call the threat of mass deportation a crime, a genocide warning for Haitians and people of Haitian and African ancestry continues. Deportees report their families have had to leave everything behind. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees has advised the Dominican government to "prevent any expulsions of stateless Dominicans." At the opening of luxury hotel for the very rich, President Danilo Medina announced that this issue is closed. Partial sources online: "Official in Dominican Republic says country to resume deportations after year-long pause," Associated Press, June 16, 2015, Fox News; "Dominican Republic to be 'Socially Cleaned' in two days," gjohnsit, June 14, 2015, Daily Kos; "Dominican Republic ready to resume deportations of non-registered, mostly Haitian immigrants," jm/bw (AP, EFE), June 16, 2015, Deutsche Welle; "Haitians Rush to Avert Dominican Expulsion," Dudley Althaus, July 17, 2015, The Wall Street Journal; "Haitians Not Welcome in the Dominican Republic," Associated Press, June 19, 2015, US News;"UN asks Dominican Republic not to deport ‘stateless’ people ," June 19, 2015, Dominican Today; "Dominican president declares regularization a closed issue," June 20, 2015, Dominican Today.
U.S.: the Center for Constitutional Rights has won a victory in defending men held after 9 / 11 and abused in detention as 'terror suspects'. Their arrests were based on infractions of immigration laws. The court decided that the abuse suffered by the suspects was punative, and allows them to sue the FBI's Robert Mueller, Attorney General Ashcroft, the INS Commissioner James Ziglar. The case was previously dismissed at the district court level, finding a lack of evidence connecting upper level authorities to the abuse, while allowing actions against prison officials to proceed. The decision presents a step toward holding accountable for crimes upper levels of political power. In California an Iraqi mother, Sundus Saleh, is suing George W. Bush and members of his government (Cheney, Rumsfeld, Powell, Rice, Wolfowitz) for the war on Iraq. The case was re-filed at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on May 27th. Her previous attempt was dismissed last year at the U.S District Court for the Northern District of California, on the grounds that the accused, as federal workers under the Westfall Act, were immune to prosecution for doing their work (Bemish). Saleh's primary lawyer, Inder Comar, is alleging that the Iraq war embodied the crime of aggression as forbidden by the Nuremburg Tribunals after World War II - a position supported by Ramsey Clark, former U.S. Attorney General and subsequently a leading American proponent of anti-fascism. Clark's response to the initial U.S. invasion of Iraq ("Desert Storm") which included the heavy bombing and missiling of civilian centres and destruction of Iraq's civilian infrastructure, rapidly resulted in The Fire This Time: U.S. War Crimes in the Gulf, an unequivocal presentation of the military action's resulting provable, prosecutable, war crimes. Clark among a group of attorneys has filed an amicus brief asking the judge to hear the case based on the priority of the Nuremburg principles which expressly override protections for an offending government. Partial sources online: "Bush-era officials can be sued for abuse of 9/11 detainees – court," June 18, 2015, RT; "Court: High-level Bush administration officials can be sued for abuse," Jennifer FentIn, June 17, 2015, Al Jazeera; "Historic Ruling: High-Level Bush Officials Including Ashcroft May Be Sued for Post-9/11 Abuse of Immigration Detainees at Metropolitan Detention Center," Press release, June 17, 2015, The Center for Constitutional rights; "Former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark Joins Lawsuit against Bush, Cheney, Et Al for Illegal War in Iraq," Claire Bernish, Jan. 16, 2015c, Antimedia; "Former US Attorney General brings legal challenge against Iraq War officials," June 18, 2015, RT.
Editor's note: after 19 years open to the street near the Byward Market of Ottawa, Gerald and Maas with nightslantern.ca have relocated to Montreal. Telephone 514 287 3244. E-mail: email@example.com.
Peru: the country's Public Prosecutor, Luis Burgos, has reopened the inquiry against Alberto Fujimori and others, concerning genocide due to birth control programs under his regime which sterilized over 300,000 Aboriginal women without their informed consent. The programs relied on funding from both the United Nations and the United States; previous attempts to pursue justice for the women have been repeatedly closed down, most recently in January 2014. With the help of the courts human rights organizations forced the government to reopen the case. As announced May 10th, 2015 the new Burgos inquiry is to last three months. For background see "A note on Peru". Partial sources online: "Forced sterilization of indigenous case re-opened in Peru," Rick Kearns, Feb.20, 2009, Indian Country Today; Peru Reopens Forced Sterilization Case Against Ex-President Fujimori," Rick Kearns, June 7, 2015, Indian Country Today; "Peru Reopens Criminal Investigation Into Mass Forced Sterilizations," May 13, 2015, Center for Reproductive Rights.
Canada: Justice Murray Sinclair, head of Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission, has announced that Canada is guilty of "cultural genocide" against the First Nations. This commission was set up by the Government to explore the injustices of residential schooling for Aboriginal children. The government commission testimonies and data collected seem muted compared to independent studies by Kevin Annett, a United Church Minister who began to ask questions for his parishioners. Fired from his church in British Columbia, Rev. Annett challenged as genocide, with independent witnesses, testimonies, accounts, a history of Canadian government policies. Extending his protests for rights of native children to the rights of other children abused by Church and State, the revelations of crimes may undercut the credibility of his earlier witnessing. He wasn't able to protect some of his witnesses who died after testimony of extreme events. Annett's conclusions that over fifty thousand Residential School children were killed is believable despite Government figures of 3 to 6 thousand. The conclusion that genocide, not simply "cultural genocide," was committed against Canada's Aboriginals - and that Residential Schooling was only a symptom of a program, is suggested throughout Night's Lantern's notations on genocide from 2005 to 2014. Supreme Court Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin has publicly called Canada's history of Residential schooling, "cultural genocide," while noting aspects of an underlying genocide. The judicial system has not addressed as crimes the failures of the Conservative government's Indian Affairs policies and neglect. A portion of Canada's economy relies on disenfranchising the native peoples of their lands, rights, resources, future existence. The argument for charging Canada with genocide for its contemporary handling of Aboriginal events is currently next to impossible under law (nb. "North American game plans and the Convention on Genocide" ). Clarifications of Canada's role at the formation of the Convention on genocide in 1948 suggest that the government was aware of its historical crime: it refused to allow inclusion of cultural genocide or genocide of politically defined groups, within the Convention. Cultural genocide is simply a way-station in the eradication of a group, a stripping of the spirit, the intention of another's non-existence. It wasn't entirely excised from the Convention since the psychological debilitation of a people may be considered genocide (Article II b. & c.). In Canada the damage extends to settlers as well as natives. Partial sources online: "Hidden from History: The Canadian Holocaust," (Rev.) Kevin Annett, 2001, The Truth Commission into Genocide in Canada [access:< http://canadiangenocide.nativeweb.org/intro2.html >]; "Canada’s top judge says country committed ‘cultural genocide’ against Indigenous peoples," May 29, 2015, APTN News; "Chief Justice says Canada attempted ‘cultural genocide’ on aboriginals," Sean Fine, May 28, 2015, The Globe and Mail; "Philippe Couillard agrees with term 'cultural genocide' to describe residential schools," June 4, 2015, CBC News; "Canada opposed concept of 'cultural genocide' in 1948 accord," Joseph Brean , June 8, 2015, The National Post.March 23, 2015
US: previous. The suicide rate of military women veterans exceeds the civilian suicide rate of women, six to one. For young women veterans 18 to 21, as compared to non-veteran women the same age, the suicide rate is 12 to 1. Suicide was the primary cause of death for all Americans on military active duty during 2012 and 2013. Media discussions of military suicides fail to mention that unjust wars, wars of aggression, criminal wars, as crimes against humanity are exactly that, and as part of humanity Americans in service are also warring against themselves. Partial sources online: "Suicide rate of female military veterans is called 'staggering'," Alan Zarembo, "Airman Shooting Part of Trend in Military Suicides," Wade Rupard, June 8, 2015, Grand Forks Herald; "Experimental PTSD therapy gets traumatized soldiers walking toward relief," Tom Parry, June 8, 2015, CBC News.
Louisiana: on June 8th, Albert Woodfox was definitively released from prison by U.S. District Judge James Brady, who also refused the State any permission to retry him once again (see previous). The State Attorney General's offices appealed the decision and on June 12th the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals blocked the release until the appeal is heard. So Albert Woodfox is not free. He is the last of the Angola Three remaining in prison. At 68 he has spent 40 years in solitary detention. Partial sources online: "Albert Woodfox, inmate who spent 40 years in solitary, ordered released," June 8, 2015, CBC News; "Louisiana delays release of US man in solitary," June 9, 2015, 2015, BBC News; "Albert Woodfox's release blocked; Louisiana wins right to appeal," Emily Lane, June 12, 2015, The Times-Picayune.
Guatemala: see previous. Once convicted of genocide by the court, the trial of the former dictator José Efraín Ríos Montt was set back to a pre-conviction date on the grounds of a legal technicality. Re-scheduled several times the trial hasn't resumed. It's possible the trial will not resume since testimony implicated in the genocide the current head of state. Faced with impunity the Mayan Ixil remain under a genocide warning. On June 3, 2015, a leading defense lawyer for Ríos Montt, Francisco Palomo was driving when two men on a motorcycle drove by. They shot him many times and left without explanation. Partial sources online: "Lawyer who defended former Guatemala dictator in genocide trial murdered," Reuters, June 3, 2015, Thomson Reuters; "Hitmen Kill a Rios Montt Defense Lawyer in Guatemala City," June 4, 2015, teleSUR; "Lawyer for former Guatemalan dictator shot dead in capital," Sonia Perez D. AP, June 3, 2015, Miami Herald.
May 31, 2015
Ottawa: on May 14, the Supreme Court dismissed the Harper government's appeal which has attempted to have Omar Khadr (see previous) declared an adult offender. If the U.S. appeal decision returns Khadr to prison it will be as a young offender. The Canadian Supreme Court has provided flashes of reasonableness through these years of government fearmongering and persecution of Muslims. Partial sources online: "Top court rejects feds' bid to declare Khadr adult offender," Postmedia Network, May 14, 2015, Toronto Sun; "Nouvelle victoire pour Omar Khadr en Cour suprême," Mike Blanchfield, 14 mai 2015, La Presse Canadienne..
SCI Mahanoy: May 12th Mumia Abul-Jamal's wife was informed Mumia (see previous) was back in the hospital, Geisinger Medical Center, reportedly with a fever and an ulcerative skin condition on his legs. According to Workers World he was shackled to the bed while undergoing medical tests and denied any communication with family and support. May 18th his lawyers filed suit to allow him Constitutional rights. He was returned to the prison infirmary May 20th and his wife was allowed to visit May 21. She has asked his supporters to "Free Mumia before they kill him." There is no indication that his illness is properly diagnosed or adequately addressed by the prison medical system. Partial sources online: "Mumia Hospitalized," Noelle Hanrahan, May 13, 2015, prisonradio email list; "Stop medical murder of Mumia Abu-Jamal," May 11, 2015, Workers World; "Mumia still in danger," Joseph Piette, May 27, 2015, Workers World.
Iran: political prisoner Seyed Mohammad Ebrahimi, currently on release for medical care, is to undergo an additional trial for allegedly reporting the conditions of ill political prisoners. He allegedly discussed the human rights violations of other prisoners in a telephone call with the United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in Iran, Dr. Ahmed Shaheed. Initially arrested in 2010, Ebrahimi is serving a five year sentence for "acting against national security" and "insulting the Supreme Leader." He has told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran of his own extreme physical and psychological torture resulting in severe kidney bleeding , lung complications and broken teeth, and that "he has been deprived of access to suitable medical treatment inside and outside the prison." Partial sources online: "Political Prisoner To Be Tried for Contacting UN Human Rights Expert," April 27, 2015, International Campaign for Human rights in Iran; "With No Attention to Domestic Reform, Crackdowns on Iranian Dissenters continue," INU Staff, April 28, 2015, Iran News Update; "My son’s crime: helping the Mourning Mothers," roozonline.com trans. Siavosh Jalili, Nov. 8, 2015, Persian2English; "Mohammad Ebrahimi: Prisoner of the day," Ghormeh Sabzi, April 19, 2012, Iranian.com; "41 prisoners make statement to Tehran Prosecutor: Hossein Ronaghi’s condition is dangerous," iman marandi, Aug. 27, 2013, iman marandi's blog..
Kochi, India: recently accused Maoists in police custody should be treated as political prisoners, according to the State secretary of the Communist Party, Kanam Rajendran, who says “It is the State’s apathy towards people’s issues that gave the Maoists a foothold, especially in tribal areas.” Partial sources online:"Act of Solidarity: Treat Arrested Maoists as Political Prisoners, Says Kanam," Express News Service, May 13, 2015, Indian Express; "Treat arrested Maoists as political prisoners: CPI," May 13, 2015, The Hindu..
U.S.: Transform Now Plowshares prisoners - Sr. Megan Rice, Michael Walli and Greg Boertje-Obed, have been freed. Sr. Rice is 85. The 3 staged a symbolic protest by entering the Y-12 Oak Ridge nuclear facility July 28th, 2012, and have served two years in prison on government charges of sabotage. The charges seemed vindictive, a punishment for embarrassing the government's poor security. The charges were finally overturned with the federal appeals court Judge Raymond Kethledge declaring the government had failed to prove the protesters threatened national defense. Background: 1 2 3 4 5 6. Partial sources online: "Freedom for Sr. Megan Rice, Michael Walli & Greg Boertje-Obed!!" May 16, 2015, Nuclear Resister; "Protester has no regrets about Y-12 break-in," Frank Munger, May 17, 2015, Knoxville News Sentinel apprec. Nuclear Resister; "How an 85-Year-Old Nun, Activists Infiltrated Top U.S. Nuclear Site, Exposing Dangers & Urging Peace," Amy Goodman, May 19, 2015, Democracy Now!".
May 10, 2015
Edmonton Alberta: (see previous) on May 7 Omar Khadr was physically freed from prison after a decision by Alberta's Court of Appeals Judge Myra Bielby substantiating Judge June Ross's decision in a lower court that Khadr was entitled to bail while the appeal of his case is heard in Washington D.C. In its announcement of Khadr's freedom the CBC notes U.S. law professor David Glazier, who believes that Khadr's chances of winning his Washington appeal are good since the government's case lacks a basis in law. Partial sources online: "Omar Khadr can be released on bail, court rules," The Canadian Press, May 7, 2015, CTV News; "Omar Khadr's release on bail 'disappointing,' says public safety minister," CBC News, May 7, 2015, CBC; "Omar Khadr's odds of winning U.S. appeal look good, legal expert says," Daniel Schwartz, May 8, 2015, CBC News.
April 28, 2015
Edmonton Alberta: see previous - correction with appreciation to Gail Davidson of Lawyers Rights Watch who has clarified for us that Omar Khadr has not been released from prison; Judge Ross 's decision to free him in accordance with habeas corpus and The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (s.24), is held over until May 5 to decide the conditions of his release. The Harper government's intention to challenge the decision could further delay Khadr's release during its appeal.
April 27, 2015
Edmonton, Alberta: Omar Khadr has finally been released [see correction of April 28th] from prison on bail pending the outcome of an appeal in Washington D.C.. Initially taken as a prisoner of war at age 15 in 2002 by U.S. forces in Afghanistan, severely wounded at capture defending his family's compound, there is evidence Khadr was tortured for information by withholding medical treatment. There is further evidence of his torture by U.S. authorities with Canadian complicity during imprisonment in Guantanamo. Canada did not legally assert or protect Khadr's rights as a minor child during his U.S. imprisonment. He was forced to confess to crimes to obtain eventual transfer to Canadian justice and Canadian prisons; U.S. legal actions against Khadr have been marked by intentional denial of his human rights. Scrupulously avoided in judicial and media consideration of Khadr's case is whether U.S. and NATO country military actions in Afghanistan were ever legal, or are evidence of aggression. Sequential entries of Nightslantern concerning this case are available through our Prisoners updates page, Omar Khadr. Partial sources online: "Canadian Judge Grants Freedom to Omar Khadr, Once Held as Child at Gitmo," Deirdre Fulton, April 24, 2015, Common Dreams; "Khadr wins freedom for first time in 13 years," Tristin Hopper (The Canadian Press), April 25, 2015, National Post.
Frackville, Pennsylvania: political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal went into diabetic shock on March 30th at the prison infirmary and was taken to the local hospital for diagnosis and intensive care . Returned to the prison infirmary and subsequently released into general population, sources claim prison doctors had neither diagnosed nor treated his diabetes. His family was allowed minimal visits after public pressure. Returned to general prison population he has not recovered. Requests by his family and support organizations that he be seen by his own doctor and specialists have changed to a simple request that he see a doctor immediately. Symptoms reported suggest diabetic coma, shock, and the increasing likelihood of kidney failure . His family believes his life is in danger and ask for calls to the warden, John Kerestes, Superintendent SCI Mahanoy: 570-773-2158 x8102 | 570-783-2008 Fax | 301 Morea Road, Frackville PA 17932. The prison's medical services are provided by Corizon Health Inc., a major U.S. healthcare provider with 1.5 billion dollar profits per year from its prison contracts. Partial sources online: "Condition Critical: Friday Report From Prison Mumia Gravely Ill," Noelle Hanrahan, April 24, 2015, prison radio listserv; "Mumia Abu-Jamal: International pressure blocks ‘execution by neglect’," Mumia Abu-Jamal and Wadiya Jamal, April 19, 2015, Workers World.
cool after the heat
so quickly we forget
when the heat passes
when its train pulls out
its new fish salt and iced
its extremists imprisoned
its armies bared to the waist
its blue flame cooled
sweat gone from its rose
i'm the winner says heat
when you lie down
dizzy with fireflies
so hot our pulse wanders
out into the night
plays see-saw with the moon
the ancient sea
before the tide goes out
there's nothing in the heat
we want to save so
it bears down on us
a state of oppression
its from the cool after
lily pads on the language pool
scent is fresh
breeze moves and lifts
cool thirst is slaked
scales signify the weighing
eye for eye is a balance of wrongs
solomon shows the injustice of equity
understanding of justice is our measure
justice is always compassion
the cool after the heat
- john bart gerald from river with lights 2005
painting by julie maas
February 20, 2015
Ottawa: after some delay the NDP's Thomas Mulcair has decided to object to Bill C-51, the Harper government's most recent attempt to fight "terrorism" by depriving Canadians of basic human rights. Elizabeth May of the Green Party has stated the bill ought to be scrapped. The Liberals' Justin Trudeau has supported the bill and now suggests that after he's elected etc. he will assure some oversight to secret police powers the bill sets in motion. In particular the bill attacks the freedom of speech, with the power to interpret any written or oral statement as supportive to "terrorism" if it's deemed threatening to Canada's security or financial welfare, or vulnerable to a legal technicality. There appears to be no way to counter a covert judgement that one's writings, actions, convictions, are detrimental to Canadian policies, which then allows the full range of covert retribution (short of murder and rape) but not excluding the destruction of career, family, reputation, ability to find work, etc.. On February 19th former Prime Ministers Jean Chrétien, Joe Clark, Paul Martin, and John Turner, Former Supreme Court Justices Louise Arbour, Michel Bastarache, Ian Binnie, Claire L’Heureux Dubé, and John Major, former Ministers of Justice Irwin Cotler, Marc Lalonde, and Anne McLellan, among 22 highly respected Canadians declared Canada's need for direct controls on its security establishment, which are precisely lacking in Bill C-51's attempted expansion of secret police powers. Text of bill [access:< http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&Mode=1&DocId=6932136 >]. "Bill C-51 (Antiterrorism Act 2015): Short Primer on Key Aspects," Craig Forcese, Feb. 19, 2015, vimeo [access:< https://vimeo.com/120103590 >]. Partial sources online: "A close eye on security makes Canadians safer," Jean Chretien, Joe Clark, Paul Martin and John Turner, Feb. 19, 2015, Globe and Mail; "National security oversight: Rights groups welcome statement from eminent Canadians calling for review and oversight of national security activities," Press release, Feb. 19, 2015, International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group; "Tom Mulcair says NDP will oppose anti-terrorism bill C-51," CBC News, Feb. 18, 2015, CBC News; "Bill C-51: A Legal Primer," Clayton Ruby, Nadern R. Hasan, Feb. 17, 2015, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives [access:< https://www.policyalternatives.ca/publications/monitor/bill-c-51-legal-primer >]Gerald and Maas notes: we believe Bill C-51 presents an emergency for the Canadian people. A quote from Craig Forcese's "Short Primer" (above): CSIS may come to judges asking them to bless in advance Constitutional breaches. The proceeding will be secret. Only the Government will be represented. There is no appeal mechanism. The person affected will not know about it. They may never know who caused the problems that they then would encounter. That's because the whole thing is covert [8:55]. [Deletion of personal information concerning Gerald and Maas].February 15, 2014
Dominican Republic: on September 23, 2013 the Supreme Court stripped the citizenship of as many as 300,000 people of Haitian ancestry (see nightslantern.ca Dec. 15, 2013). Protest by human rights organizations of the Americas and the U.N. was met by the government's assurance that the disenfranchised would be able to apply for naturalisation, and in September 2014, Law 169/14 was passed allowing Dominicans of Haitian ancestry to remain citizens if they had birth certificates registered between 1929 and 2007. However many possibly most of Haitian ancestry born in the country were poor enough not to have registered birth certificates. They were given until Feb. 1, 2015, to ask for residency permits, one stage in the process of naturalisation. When the deadline expired, of 110,000 estimated as qualified, 6937 (Latin American Herald Tribune) had applied. Media sources now refer to the number of "migrants" affected as in the tens of thousands. A non-media report attributes the low number of applicants to applicants being detained at government offices, then driven in trucks to the Haitian border and deported. Currently the Haitian government and economy are disintegrating. Many earthquake refugees still live in camps: the lands for building are being retained by the wealthy. Haitians are trying to enter the Dominican Republic which strengthened its U.S. trained border forces in January. As confirmed by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights the DR Government's stripping of citizens' citizenship because of their race was illegal. Yet the policy is maintained. Challenged in court, on Feb. 11th the Constitutional Court supported the government's "Plan to Regularize Foreigners" and Law 169/14. The society's treatment of those of Haitian ancestry is deeply racist and should be considered within the context of the Convention on Genocide. The Dominican Republic has a history of genocide: under Trujillo during six days of 1937 the army murdered 35,000 Haitians within the country. Beyond the concern of the government, four Dominican journalists, Bolívar Díaz, Huichi Lora, Amelia Dechamps, Roberto Cavada, writing in support of the human rights of those with Haitian ancestry, have taken a nationalist to court for death threats against them. Demonstrations against people of Haitian ancestry have called for their expulsion and "death to traitors." A man of Haitian ancestry who shined shoes for a living was recently found hung in a city park. A genocide warning continues for people of Haitian ancestry in the Dominican Republic. Partial sources online: "Thousands Of Dominicans Woke Up This Week Without Citizenship In Any Country," Roque Planas, Feb. 3, 2015, The Huffington Post; "Haitians seek relief in Dominican border town but find security crackdown, " Renee Lewis, Jan. 23, 2015, Al-Jazeera; "Internal Exile: The Plight of Dominicans of Haitian Descent," Liliana Gamboa, Laura Bingham, Jan. 13, 2015, World Politics Review; "AI: Thousands at Risk of Expulsion from Dominican Republic," Feb. 13, 2015, Latin American Herald Tribune; "Thousands of stateless in Dominican Republic risk deportation: rights group," Anastasia Moloney, Jan. 31, 2015, Reuters; "High Court bolsters Dominican Republic’s alien regularization plan," Feb. 12, 2015, DominicanToday.com; "Dominican Republic’s New Naturalization Law Falls Short," Press release, June 3, 2014, Open Society Foundations; "Dominican Journalists Claim Death Threats For Covering Citizenship Debate," Roque Planas, Feb. 12, 2015, Huffington Post
February 11, 2015 Turkey Belgium Kashmir
Turkey: on February 5th after 13 years of imprisonment, house arrest and persecution (background) Sami al-Arian was deported from the U.S. to freedom in Turkey. The illegality of government prosecutors in depriving him of Constitutional, civil and human rights, the injustice of his detention in solitary confinement even after a jury refused to find him guilty of the government's charges, terrorized Muslim Americans and all struggling for human rights. In an exclusive interview with Democracy Now! al-Arian offers an explanation from the relative safety of Turkey: once a Professor at South Florida University and a leader of the Palestinian community his advocacy for Palestinians was successful. He was invited to the White House, met with numerous U.S. political leaders, and attempted to parley the rights of Palestinians (among other Muslims and Arabs) to be spared from the illegal use of secret evidence against them, in return for supporting George W. Bush's bid for Presidency. He was able to deliver crucial Muslim community support to Bush in a close election. After Bush's victory, on requesting the Justice Department honour the bargain al-Arian was told to call a meeting of Muslim / Arab community leaders in Washington where the Government would pledge to honour its commitment. Scheduled for September 11, 2001, the destruction of the World Trade Centers cancelled the meeting while providing President Bush with the presence / support of the Arab leaders gathered in Washington. Afterward, al-Arian was attacked by a right wing Fox pundit touching off al-Arian's persecution by the Justice Department. He was effectively, illegally, silenced. Partial sources online: "Exclusive Interview: Sami-al-Arian, Professor Who Defeated Controversial Terrorism Charges, Is Deported from U.S.," by Murtaza Hussaid & Glenn Greenwald, Feb. 5, 2015, The Intercept; "Exclusive: Deported Palestinian Scholar Sami Al-Arian on His Chilling Post-9/11 Prosecution," Juan Gonzalez, Amy Goodman, Sami Al-Arian, Laila Al-Arian, Feb. 6, 2015, Democracy Now!.
Belgium: a petition, "Stop Torture: Accountability: Yes – Impunity: No," initiated by Hans von Sponeck and Denis Halliday at the BRussells Tribunal, asks those responsible for the cruel and unusual treatment applied captives in CIA camps around the world, be held accountable, prosecuted. Noting as the UN's Ben Emmerson said "“torture is a crime of universal jurisdiction” the petition appeals first to the U.S. Government and Attorney General. To sign [access:< http://www.brussellstribunal.org/article_view.asp?id=1954 >] Recommended.
Jammu and Kashmir: the military presence throughout the country, increasing opposition to Kashmir nationalism by the occupiers, resistance by youth, the year after year of Indian occupation with Indian security force levels now claimed to be at 700,000 personnel (counterpunch.org), estimates of 70,000 predominantly civilian Kashmiri casualties since 1989, reports of exceptional brutality by Indian forces, massacres, mass rape, torture, atrocities, mass graves, suggest that the Indian Army of occupation should be subject to a UN Human Rights Council investigation. In the Pakistan occupied portion of Kashmir the people want total independence from both India and Pakistan. China claims a mostly uninhabited third portion. Religious divisions assure the people's lack of power and the region's lack of autonomy. In Indian-controlled Jammu and Kashmir where Hindus have favoured India, separatist groups are supported by Pakistan and are held responsible for the ethnic cleansing of Hindu Pandits. India's failure to build the autonomy of Kashmir non-violently raises an inevitable genocide warning for Kashmiris. Partial sources online: "Genocide In Kashmir: India’s Shame," Andre Vltchek, Feb. 8, 2015, counterpunch.org; "Kashmir's stone workers reeling under dire poverty as traditional architecture loses popularity," Feb. 9, 2015, I am India of Srinagar; "Kashmiri separatist urges Muslim families to produce more kids," Express News Service, Feb. 9, 2015, The Indian Express; "Kashmir: The Untold Story of Indian Occupation," Tara Dorabji, Dec. 28, 2011, Project Censored; "Kashmir Solidarity Day Celebrated in Washington," Feb. 10, 2015, Pakistan Christian Post.
February 5, 2015 Israel/Palestine the Armenian Genocide Canada
Israel/Palestine: so the inquiry will not be derailed or delayed, Prof. William Schabas has resigned as head of the UN Human Rights Council's investigative committee looking into allegations of Israeli and Palestinian war crimes during Israel's "Operation Protective Edge" (See "The Mourning Hasn't Begun"). Israel alleged "bias" on the grounds that the Canadian professor of law once gave a legal opinion to the PLO. The Senegalese lawyer and former UN Rapporteur (on racism), Doudou Diene, and Mary McGowan Davis, a New York judge, remain on the committee which Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu has asked be shut down. Judge Davis, now appointed chairman, is likely to be attacked for her role in the 2008 Goldstone committee's report which alleged war crimes against Israel's "Operation Cast Lead." Reuters has reported that Israel is lobbying nations to cut financial support for the International Criminal Court (see previous). Palestine becomes an active ICC member April 1, 2015. While Israel considers both the ICC and the UN's Human Rights Council politically biased it doesn't offer alternative venues to consider allegations of impunity. For instance, Muslim News reports Israel's destruction of a thousand meter water pipe, the source of water for the town of Yezra; West Bank Israeli settlers receive 4 times the water permitted Palestinians. An ongoing genocide warning for Palestinians. Partial sources online: "Gaza conflict: Schabas quits UN inquiry over bias claims," Feb. 3, 2015, BBC News; "William Schabas, Canadian leading Gaza-Israel UN probe, resigning," Thomson Reuters, Feb 02, 2015, CBC News; "US Judge McGowan Davis to replace Schabas as head of UN Gaza inquiry," Itamar Eichner (AP), Feb. 3, 2015, ynetnews.com; "UN Replaces Schabas with Goldstone Report Judge," Ari Yashar, Feb. 3, 2015, Arutz Sheva 7; "Exclusive: ICC backers defy Israeli call to cut funding to war crimes court," Thomas Escritt and Anthony Deutsch (Reuters), Jan. 27, 2015, Yahoo! News; "Palestine: Israeli forces destroy 1,000 Meter water pipe," IMEMC , Jan. 30, 2015, The Muslim News.
Turkey: 2015 marks the hundredth year since the genocide of the Armenian people by the Ottoman government of Turkey. While executed separately the genocide of Armenians (1.5 million) coincided with the government's genocide of Greeks (.5 million) and Assyrians (.25 million). The victims were Christians. A consistent justification for government policies and actions was the victim groups' supposed sympathy for Russia, and the slaughters were extended to armed forces personnel of the minority groups accused of being in league with Russia. To better understand the issue of genocide and what it meant to the Armenian people: recommended - 1915 AGHET - The Armenian Genocide (In English) NDR 2010[access:< https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLyrpaTKCCE >]. Amid general sources: "Centenary of Armenian genocide," Dr. Edward Horgan, Jan. 5, 2015, The Irish Times.Historical note: pre-dating international law enforcement, some minimal concept of justice was attempted by the subsequent Turkish government. It court martialed The Committee of Union and Progress which had controlled the government and promulgated the genocide. Three of the genocide planners who escaped as WW1 ended were sentenced to death in absentia, among them former Ottoman Interior Minister Talaat Pasha who had ordered the arrest of Armenian intellectuals and leaders. Refusing to accept impunity, The Armenian Revolutionary Federation formed "Operation Nemesis." Its leader Shahan Natalie, gathered a list of 200 responsible for the genocide and these became targets. As part of "Operation Nemesis," on a Berlin street in broad daylight, March 15, 1921, Soghomon Tehlirian shot and killed Talaat Pasha. Tehlirian was immediately arrested and charged with murder. At his trial testimony revealed portions of the crimes against Armenians. The jury found Tehlirian innocent.
Canada: believing the use of solitary confinement as punishment to be cruel and inhumane, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies have petitioned the government in Superior Court to challenge its use. Jan. 19th in British Columbia the John Howard Society and British Columbia Civil Liberties Association opened a lawsuit against the government to stop use of solitary confinement. The December edition of the Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, "Inmate Information Guide for Adult Institutions," makes no mention of any rights for the prisoners held in solitary. Partial sources online: "Ottawa faces new challenge on solitary confinement," The Canadian Press, Jan. 27 2015, The Globe and Mail; "Ontario broke solitary confinement promise, lawyers say," Amy Dempsey, Jan. 28, 2015, thestar.com; "Second legal challenge launched over solitary confinement in prisons," The Canadian Press, Jan. 27, 2015, thestar.com.
January 26, 2015 war resisters experiments sr. megan rice kathy kelly phil africa
Canada and U.S., experiments: evidence continues to be released exposing the use of native children as subjects/victims of medical experiments. APTN has noted use of First Nations infants in the 1930's and 40's trials of tuberculosis vaccine, pointing out Aboriginal TB rates were cut in half during the early 30's by simple improvements in living conditions. Vaccines were seen as more cost-effective than improving living conditions. The TB tests on Aboriginal children lasted from 1933 to 1945 with nearly a third of the test group dying from other effects of poverty. Recent research at the University of Guelph finds government researchers knowingly withheld food in some cases and essential vitamins in others from Aboriginal children and peoples in nutritional experiments during the 40's and 50's. In North America of the 20th Century government's crimes against Aboriginal peoples were a clear indication of contempt for the lives of all poor people.
Canada: the War Resisters Support Campaign calls January 25 through January 31, "Let Them Stay Week 2015." Despite what the people and Parliament want, the Harper government continues trying to force U.S. war resisters out of the country. The War Resisters Support Campaign asks Canadians to let the current Minister of Immigration, Chris Alexander, know ~ War Resisters are Welcome Here. Previous. Partial sources online: "Let Them Stay Week, January 25-31* STOP THE DEPORTATIONS!" Jan. 21, 2015, War Resisters Support Campaign; J. Maas drawing Lectures for Nonconformists, J.B.Gerald, 1983.
Several examples: U.S. Prof. Martino-Taylor at St. Louis Community College shows that in the 50's and 60's the U.S. Army sprayed communities of predominantly "low-income persons of color" of St. Louis (as well as Minneapolis), with zinc cadmium sulfide mixed with radium 226, in radioactive “fluorescent particle tracer experiment(s)". A follow up study was agreed upon for Winnipeg Canada by agreement of the Ralph M. Parsons Company and Canadian Defence Research Board in May 1953. U.S. examples of direct medical experimentation on children include the intentional infecting with hepatitis of disabled children at Willowbrook State School on Staten Island New York (1950's-70's) where up to 6000 disabled children were denied their basic rights to humanity. It closed in 1987. And from 1946 to 1953 the intentional feeding of radioactive isotopes to childen with disabilities at the Walter E. Fernald School in Waltham Massachusetts, by Harvard and MIT scientists. Fernald wasn't closed until 2014 (Wikipedia). Despite prior crimes, post WWII medical or military medical experimentation should be judged under the standards of the Nuremburg Code and Geneva Conventions. Partial sources online: "'Against Their Will' looks at children used for tests," Dennis Rosen, July 8, 2013, The Boston Globe; "Revealed: Army scientists secretly sprayed St Louis with 'radioactive' particles for YEARS to test chemical warfare technology," Emily Anne Epstein, Sept. 29, 2012, Daily Mail Online; "The Manhattan-Rochester Coalition, Research on the Health Effects of Radioactive Materials, and Tests on Vulnerable Populations Without Consent in St. Louis, 1945-1970," Lisa Martino-Taylor, 2011, <University of Missouri-Columbia[access:< http://media.proquest.com/media/pq/classic/doc/2708892501/fmt/ai/rep/NPDF?_s=vf%2FrL9ohJkYpQkVLduNg7sJyV0k%3D#page=4&zoom=auto,-13,747 >]; "Behavior of Aerosol Clouds Within Cities," Leighton / Sanford Univ. & Diltman / Parsons Co. "Joint Quarterly Report April - June 1953, Chemical Corps, U.S. Army unclassified:15 Nov. 1963; "First Nation infants subject to "human experimental work" for TB vaccine in 1930s-40s," July 24, 2013, APTN; "'Not Even Human' How Canadian Govt. Abused Aboriginal Children in TB Experiments," ICTMN Staff, July 28, 2013, Indian Country; "Hungry Canadian aboriginal children were used in government experiments during 1940s, researcher says," Andrew Livingston / Bob Weber Canadian Press, July 16, 2013, thestar.com.>
Brooklyn New York: as reported by the Daily News, Sr. Megan Rice is serving a 35 month sentence for sabotage and destruction of government property. She has been transferred to Brooklyn's Metropolitan Detention Center, a "gymnasium-size" room housing 112 women prisoners who eat, sleep, toilet, shower there, without outside recreation space. A member of the Transform Now Plowshares, Sr. Rice (now 84) and her slightly younger co-activists Michael Walli and Gregory Boertje-Obed, entered Oak Ridge nuclear facility June 2012 for a symbolic action (cutting a hole in the fence, writing, pouring their blood, hammering on stone). Michael Walli is serving 62 months FCI McKean, Pennsylvania, and Greg Boertje-Obed 62 months at USP Leavenworth (Kansas). From prison Sr. Rice writes her supporters of her co-prisoners' joyful creativity and celebration at Christmas and Kwanzaa which help cope with the unjust sentences and prison conditions. Background. Partial sources online: "EXCLUSIVE: 84-year-old activist nun imprisoned in Brooklyn jail hellhole for breaking into nuclear facility, exposing security flaws," Linda Stasi, Jan. 19, 2015, The New York Daily News; "~ from MDC Brooklyn by Sr. Megan Rice, imprisoned nuclear disarmament activist." Sr. Megan Rice, et al, Dec. 10, 2015, The Nuclear Resister.
Lexington Kentucky: on Jan. 22nd Kathy Kelly started a three month sentence at Federal Medical Center Lexington, for trying to deliver a loaf of bread and letter of protest to the drone commander of Whiteman Air Force Base (Missouri). She told the judge in Jefferson City Missouri, " We have a right to claim our right not to kill." She was found guilty of trespassing. Nightslantern carries her "Banning Child Sacrifice: A Difficult Choice?" in her March 9, 1998 letter from Iraq. She has shared the life of the Iraqi people under the bombings and continually placed herself among the victims of America's crimes. Partial sources online: "Kathy Kelly begins 3 month sentence on January 23 at FMC Lexington for drone resistance," Jane Stoever, Jan. 22, 2015, The Nuclear Resister; "A Future in Prison," Kathy Kelly, Jan. 23, 2015, The Nuclear Resister.
Dallas Pennsylvania, State Correctional Institution: William Philips Africa was a husband, father, original member of the MOVE community and a prisoner who was not proven guilty in a just court.Background. After sudden removal to a medical facility where he was held incommunicado five days he was returned to SCI Dallas where he died. In part due to the rapidity of the illness, and isolation from communication, MOVE considers the death suspicious as was the 1998 death in prison of Merle Austin Africa. A community based religious organization at peace with animals, the environment, respecting all life, MOVE experienced extreme persecution from police and authorities since its founding in 1972. Nine MOVE members were sentenced to from 30 to 100 years for the alleged murder of one police person. There is more than reasonable doubt of their guilt. The officer died of one bullet in the back during a free-for-all police raid on the MOVE residence. As in the case of Mumia Abu Jamal who subsequently reported the police bombing of another MOVE residence which killed John Africa the movement's founder among others, there seems to be a political, law enforcement and judiciary consensual conspiracy which allows the system's betrayal of justice to continue and overcome any common sense. See also previous. Partial sources online: "Phil Africa of MOVE dies under suspicious circumstances in Pennsylvania prison" Ramona Africa, January 12, 2015, SF Bay View; ON A MOVE [access:< http://onamove.com/ >]; "Phil Africa ¡Presente!" Betsey Piette January 13, 2015, Workers World.January 19, 2015 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Canada Imam Jamil Al-Amin Netherlands Palestine Guantanamo
USA: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a paid holiday for state employees in all states. Alabama celebrates "Robert E. Lee / Martin Luther King Birthday". Dr. King's birthday was January 15th. There is increasing evidence of the federal government's role in Dr. King's assassination (ref. "Essay on State Terrorism" 2001), much of it revealed by the ongoing work of attorney William Francis Pepper.Editor's note: "In ‘65 I was a people’s march marshal from Selma to Montgomery, and among those with arms linked around King having to protect him suddenly because there was hostility from the crowd watching as we walked into Montgomery, and the Justice Department and National Guard men were suddenly not there to protect him or us. Puzzled, I looked into King’s face but I think he understood immediately; he seemed mildly flustered at the hatred but just nodded toward the Capitol building up ahead – not frightened, there was a feeling, like when the sand goes through an hourglass. Decades later there’s evidence that King was in the crosshairs of a U.S. Special Operations team during the March, and avoided death by chance stepping out of view. It’s difficult to re-examine Memphis assassination materials, and the F.B.I.’s lethal campaign against him, without realizing Dr. King’s helplessness in sharing his understanding of truth." - John Bart Gerald (excerpt from a letter, Dec. 6, 2014).
Canada: The John Howard Society and British Columbia Civil Liberties Association have opened a lawsuit against the Federal government to stop the use of solitary confinement in Canada's prisons. Partial sources online: "Rights groups sue Ottawa over solitary confinement in prisons," Sunny Dhillon, Jan. 19, 2015, The Globe and Mail; "John Howard Society, BCCLA sue Ottawa over solitary confinement," Jan. 19, 2015, CBC News.
North Carolina: ADX Florence in Colorado is known as one of the 10 worst prisons in the world. A New York judge recently sentenced a disabled Imam, Abu Hamza al-Masri to life-without-parole there, despite the conditions of his extradition to the U.S. from England. Abu Hamza seems to fill a slot left vacant by the American imam and political prisoner Imam Jamil Al Amin. In mid-July Al-Amin also serving a sentence of life without parole, was moved to Butner Federal Medical Center, North Carolina for cancer treatment. Al-Amin had spent 23 hours a day in 'no touch' solitary confinement since he was moved to ADX Florence from Georgia's Reidsville prison in 2007. Imam Al-Amin, born Hubert Gerold Brown, aka H. Rap Brown, the Sixties chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee - allied with Dr. King's Christian Leadership Conference, as well as the Black Panthers, remains a leader of those who care for peace with justice. He was a long time target of COINTELPRO and eventually convicted of killing a policeman, a charge / circumstance frequently applied to community leaders of the Sixties and Seventies, repeatedly uncharacteristic of the men themselves. Believing Al-Amin innocent of the charge, and with increasing evidence of government complicity and police participation in the murders of Dr. King, Black Panthers, and Kennedys, the trials of all longterm political prisoners convicted of self defense and police killing should be re-examined, specifically: Imam Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, Mumia Abu Jamal, the MOVE 9, Tom William Manning, Jaan Laaman, Leonard Peltier, Sundiata Acoli, among others. More background. Partial sources online: "Free Imam Jamil Al-Amin!" Editor, July 8, 2014, Workers World; "Political Prisoner Imam Jamil Al-Amin in Declining Health, Urgently Needs Medical Care," Bruce A. Dixon, July 9, 2014, Black Agenda Report; "Imam Jamil Al-Amin (H. Rap Brown) transferred to Butner Federal Medical Center, N.C." July 18, 2014, SFBay.
The Netherlands: Geert Wilders is the right wing Minister of Parliament who acquired political power through insulting and deriding Islam and Muslims, while enjoying police protection. He was made welcome in Canada to share his views on Islam under the Harper government in May 2011 as Canada prepared to join NATO's destruction of Libya. 1 2. According to press accounts on March 19th he addressed supporters in The Hague with something like do you want Moroccans in town ? His crowd chants "fewer" several times, and Wilders says well he'll take care of that. As a result, 5000 people sued him and the Dutch Prosecutor's office found Wilders' alleged threat against Moroccan immigrants actionable for inciting hatred. The Dutch Prime Minister condemned Wilders' remarks which Wilders has not retracted. Wilders' right wing Party for Freedom lost ground in May elections, but is doing very well after the Paris 'shootings'. A current election would show his Party for Freedom the largest in the country. Consistently, extreme bias against any one minority group provides a severe warning to others, for example France, or Nazi Germany. Partial sources online: "PVV leader Geert Wilders will be prosecuted for inciting hatred (update)," Dec. 18, 2014, DutchNews.nl; "Paris attacks boost support for Dutch anti-Islam Wilders," Jan. 11, 2015, worldbulletin; "Geert Wilders defends ‘fewer Moroccans’ chant, quotes Martin Luther King," Dec.8, 2014, DutchNews.nl; "Netherlands: Wilders' Party for Freedom in fourth place," CTK, translated by Gwendolyn Albert , May 24, 2014, romea.cz; "Netherlands: 5 000 people sue Wilders over anti-Moroccan remarks," CTK, con, translated by Gwendolyn Albert, April 4, 2014, romea.cz.
Palestine: (previous) January 16th the International Criminal Court announced it's opening a preliminary probe of alleged Israeli war crimes against the people of Palestine including crimes against Gaza during Israel's 2014 "Operation Protective Edge." With an inadequate understanding of the English language, the U.S. State Department called the prosecution's decision a "tragic irony," while the Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman called the decision "scandalous." Background. Genocide warnings. Partial sources online: "ICC to probe possible war crimes in Palestine," Jan. 16, 2015, Al Jazeera; "US condemns ICC war crimes probe of Israel as 'tragic irony'," AFP, Jan. 17, 2015, Mail Online.
Guantanamo: Democracy Now's interview of the former Guantanamo prison guard Joseph Hickman, and Seton University Law Professor Mark Denbeaux, discusses the probability and evidence of CIA responsibility for (murder of) three Guantanamo prisoners whose deaths were listed as suicide. What accumulating evidence indicates is that Guantanamo, despite public pressure and politicians' promises, remains open because it's of use as a laboratory, with Muslim prisoners as subjects / victims. Overt evidence of experimentation is usually presented as an exception, ie. reports on the forced feeding of long term hunger strikers noted in a sworn statement by Army Col. John Bogdan, the commander of the prison guards from June 2012 to June 2014 (Miami Herald). As early as October 2009, the journalist Thierry Meyssan reported correctly in Odnako (Russia), Guantanamo's primary use as a psychological conditioning centre rather than an interrogation centre; his work suggests that Guantanamo is the tip of an iceberg covering the interrogation or 'conditioning' of possibly 80,000 victims on 17 U.S. navy ships with flat bottoms and three tiered holds for cells, placed in international waters to avoid consideration under domestic laws. These are not mentioned in the Feinstein Report on CIA torture, and are rarely noted in the press as "ghost detainees" with very few traceable identified examples (nightslantern). Public acceptance of Guantanamo's crimes may be used eventually to cover the mass incarcerations, indoctrination, interrogations, recruitment, torture, killing of unlisted prisoners or former prisoners. According to Jurist a Pentagon report released Nov. 18, 2005, admits to the detention of 80,000 worldwide since the World Trade Center 2001. Partial sources online: "Did Gitmo 'Suicides' Cover Up Murder? U.S. Sgt. Speaks Out on Deaths & Prison’s Secret CIA Site," Goodman et al, Jan. 15, 2015, Democracy Now!; "Guantánamo ‘experiment’ didn’t break hunger strike but gets judge’s attention," Carol Rosenberg, Oct. 8, 2014, Miami Herald; "Torture report shows al-Qaeda not involved in 9-11," Thierry Meyssan, trans. Roger Lagassé, Dec.31, 2014, Axis of Logic; "US accused of holding terror suspects on prison ships," Duncan Campbell and Richard Norton-Taylor, June 2, 2008, The Guardian; "80,000 US detainees since 9/11, alleged CIA secret prisons spark concern," Andrew Wood, Nov. 19, 2005, Jurist.
January 12, 2015 Guatemala Cuba France England Palestine New York California CAR Ethiopia
Guatemala: the trial of José Efraín Ríos Montt charged with genocide scheduled to begin January 5th was postponed again when one of the judges was challenged for lack of impartiality. It is unclear when the trial will resume. Previously Ríos Montt's conviction for genocide was overturned by extraordinary means and the trial reverted to pre-conviction status at the point when the judge was challenged for not tolerating attempts by Ríos Montt's lawyers to derail the trial. Telasur addresses one of the trial's underlying hazards: a recent Amnesty International report links murders of Guatemala's Maya to Canadian mining interests. Lawsuits are currently being heard in Canada against HudBay Minerals Inc. for killing, wounding , gang rape of anti-mining activists by HudBay's subsidiary GNC ("Guatemala: Mining in Guatemala: Rights at Risk," 2014, Amnesty International Ltd. [access:< http://www.amnesty.ca/sites/default/files/mining-in-guatemala-rights-at-risk-eng.pdf >]). The Amnesty report doesn't question the right of corporations to plunder native lands, but does link human rights difficulties (ie. atrocities) to the corporate failure to consult and follow Indigenous decision making as mandated by the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The Ríos Montt genocide of Maya villagers falls into the pattern of killing the land's people so the resources can be stripped. The trial's other sticking points: the conviction of Ríos Montt would open the door to prosecute the current President of Guatemala and others who were proactive or complicit; the previous conviction threatened the traditional m.o. for mining and resource stripping of the Americas and was defiantly answered by illegal mining security practices at the time of the earlier trial; a re-conviction will implicate the Americans and Israelis who trained, supplied and may eventually be held accountable for the slaughter. Each failure of the judicial system enforces a threat against the Mayan peoples and a genocide warning continues. Background on the 2013 trial of Ríos Montt:"Guatemala: a brave judiciary," "Masks of investment: a trial in Guatemala," "Good vs. evil in Guatemala," "Genocide denial in Guatemala.". Partial sources online: "Postponement of former Guatemalan dictator's genocide retrial causes dismay," AP. Jan. 5, 2015, theguardian.com; "Rios Montt Guatemala genocide retrial suspended," Jan. 5, 2015, BBC News .
Cuba: the remaining three Cuban agents imprisoned in the United States, Ramón Labañino, Geraldo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero were freed December 17th and returned to their families in Cuba. The arrangement was part of a prisoner exchange and release agreement. Fernando González and René González of the Cuban Five were previously released. Background. Partial sources online: "Release of Cuban Five Opens New Chapter in Cuba-U.S. Relations," Richard Fidler, Jan 4, 2015, The Bullet. "Cuba’s Five Heroes ? Free At Last!" Jan. 10, 2015, Friends of the Cuban Five, Toronto.
France: the reported murder of twelve workers at Charlie Hebdo, and a series of corollary murders including the killing of police and killing of suspects by police and army forces, has received saturation coverage in the global press and alternative media, and brought about the largest demonstrations by the French people since liberation from Nazi occupation. While concerned primarily with murders of cartoonists, an economist, and bodyguard at Charlie Hebdo the action included hostage taking at a kosher supermarket with five deaths. According to the Toronto Star the tragedy was explained to the hostages by the gunman as retaliation for France's policy of murdering civilians in Mali and Syria, implicating the citizens who voted for the murderers. There's no overt indicaton of hate speech or anti-Semitism in the attacker's words as quoted. Nightslantern's previous objections to Charlie Hebdo's publication of a cartoon sexually deriding the prophet Mohammad appear at "On Psywar against the Innocent", believing it unwise, and a betrayal of French Muslim immigrant trust in their host people. We continue to object to the use of civilian communications workers (Charlie Hebdo, Salmon Rushdie) in psywar and agit-prop operations serving state agendas. The November 14, 2014 issue of the chic fashion magazine, Elle, ran glamour photos of Ukrainian women among the fascist / criminal paramilitaries fighting the people in the East Ukraine. In other French news the mayor of Champlan, near Paris, refused burial to a Roma child, maintaining that burial space priority be given to taxpayers. The child was buried in the ancient nearby commune of Wissous. A genocide warning for Roma in France continues. Partial sources online: "Success of French terrorists opens questions about country’s intelligence, security agencies," Roste DiManno, Jan. 10, 2015, thestar.com;"Rupert Murdoch: All Muslims ‘Must Be Held Responsible’ Until Jihadism Is Eliminated," Erica Hellerstein, Jan. 10, 2015, thinkprogress; "French Fashion Weekly Glamorized Ukraine Nazi Fighter," New Cold War.org, Dec. 31, 2014, Russia Insider; "Roma baby refused burial in France," Jan. 3, 2015, BBC News.
England: an Iraq war (2003) inquiry report by Sir John Chilcot may cause Tony Blair to face trial for war crimes. Publication of the report and its availability to the House of Lords is being delayed although the report is completed. Partial sources online: "Tony Blair 'could face war crimes charges' over Iraq War," Christopher Hope, Jan. 6, 2015, telegraph.co.uk; "‘Blair may face war crimes charges’ – Liberal Democrat peer," Jan. 7, 2015, RT; .
Palestine: Palestine has subscribed to the International Criminal Court, to take effect on April 1, 2015. Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stated to the press that Israel will not permit its military to be tried at the ICC. Partial sources online: "Israel 'won't let its soldiers be dragged to the ICC': PM," AFP, Jan. 4, 2015, Mail Online; "State of Palestine will join the International Criminal Court on April 1: UN chief," AP, Jan 6, 2015, CTV News.
New York: Abu Hamza al-Masri (aka Mustafa Kamel Mustafa) a disabled and half-blind former Imam in London, known for his incendiary speech was extradited to New York City to stand trial for allegations of terrorism. He was found guilty of conspiring to set up a training camp for jihadis in Oregon, for giving a cellphone to hostage takers in Yemen, and calling for a Jihad in Afghanistan. With some repetition these became 11 charges encompassing his words and possible intentions. He pleaded innocent to all eleven charges. His lawyers attempted to introduce Scotland Yard documents as evidence to the court that Abu Hamza had worked in cooperation with English authorities; the US Judge barred the evidence. May 19, 2014 Abu Hamza was found guilty by a jury at the US District Court for Southern New York. On January 9, 2015 he was sentenced to life in prison without parole. New York Courts previously sentenced Imam Sheik Abdel-Rahman, severely disabled by blindness, to 65 years. Neither cleric committed a crime of physical violence or presents a physical danger. Because Abu Hamza's actions don't warrant the sentence, because the sentence is a response to his thinking and freedom of expression, because the trials of Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, Aafia Siddiqi, Lynne Stewart (Abdel- Rahman's lawyer), Dr. Rafil Dhafir, reveal deep injustice in procedure, verdict and sentencing, Abu Hamza is added to nightslantern's list of political prisoners. Placed in ADX Florence (Colorado) a supermax facility despite the Imam's disabilities (ADX prisons are known for "cruel and unusual punishment") Abu Hamza's extradition to the US should not have been allowed by the European Court of Human Rights. Partial sources online: "Abu Hamza al-Masri," current, Wikipedia; "Hamza trial: Imam ‘secretly worked with MI5 to keep streets of London safe’ ," David Usborne, May 7, 2014, The Independent; "Abu Hamza sentenced to life in prison on US terrorism conviction," Nicky Woolf, Jan. 9, 2015, The Guardian.
California: on January 8, 2015, Eric McDavid was released after serving 9 years of a twenty year sentence. The government admitted it had withheld evidence from his attorneys. The release involved a plea agreement where the prisoner confessed to conspiring to destroy a forest service genetics facility in order to gain his freedom. The withheld evidence strongly suggested that McDavid was entrapped if not controlled by an FBI informant. Background. Partial sources online: "Convicted 'Eco-Terrorist' Freed Amid Evidence Dispute," Sudhin Thanawala (AP), Jan 10, 2015, ABC News. "Foothills man released from prison after judge overturns eco-terrorism conviction," Jan.8, 2015, KCRA.com.
Central African Republic: the UN commission of inquiry (Judge Bernard Acho Munu of Cameroon, Fatima M'Baye of Mauritania, Jorge Castaneda of Mexico) finds no proof of genocide occurring in CAR's civil war, where crimes against humanity are traced to both anti-Balaka Christian and Muslim Seleka forces. Christian forces are faulted for ethnic cleansings. Partial sources online: "UN Finds No Genocide in CAR Conflict," Jan. 8, 2015, VOA News; "UN: Ethnic Cleansing of Muslims in Central African Republic," Cara Anna (AP). Jan. 8,2015, ABC News.
Ethiopia: in an area of heavily suppressed news MWC News reports that the drones which assassinate suspected terrorists in Yemen and Somalia are based in this country, a firm U.S. ally in the war on terror. The Ogaden National Liberation Front continues to resist unacceptable government practices which include banning media and international witness from Ogaden where the government is committing atrocity crimes. A recent civilian report alleges the rape and torture of women prisoners. Ongoing genocide warning for the Ogadeni, among others. Partial sources online: "Ogaden Report," UNPO, January 2015, Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization; "State Terrorism in Ogaden, Ethiopia," Graham Peebles, Jan. 8, 2015, MWC News; "Ethiopia: 'Humanitarian Crisis' for Ogaden Living Near Ethiopia's Oil Fields," Ed Mckenna, Feb.23, 2014, AllAfrica .
A branch that comes from violence will not take root;
for a blighted root is on sheer rock, like reeds by the
banks of a river, which are dried up before any grass; but
kindness, like eternity, will never be cut off, and faithfulness
will be established forever - from Ben Sira
(Dead Sea Scrolls Bible, Abegg et al)
This account is against forgetfulness.